Apology after people turned away from Covid-19 surge testing site despite concerns over Delta variant

Public health experts in Calderdale have apologised to people who were turned away after surge testing was launched due to concerns about the spread of the Delta variant of Covid-19.

The Government stepped in to help Calderdale Council test everyone who lives or works in three areas - Todmorden, Park and Warley - following an outbreak last week which was linked to socialising.

Deborah Harkins, Calderdale Council’s Director of Public Health, has apologised after people without symptoms were refused a test at a mobile testing unit at Todmorden Sports Centre.

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“Mobile testing units are run by the Department of Health and Social Care and we are working with them to resolve any issues at their site in Todmorden,” she said.

A coronavirus testing site (Credit: Shutterstock)

“Anyone living, working or going to school in Todmorden can do a PCR test at the mobile testing unit at the sports centre, regardless of whether they have symptoms or not.

“This additional testing is part of the preventative action we’re taking to help reduce the spread of Covid-19, after a small number of Delta cases were found in the town.”

She added: “As our local infection rates are rising, it’s so important that we all act now to stop things getting worse.”

Calderdale’s infection rate stands at 70 cases per 100,000 people, after 148 cases were recorded over seven days, but the last Covid-related death recorded in Calderdale (within 28 days of a positive test) was on May 12.

Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust were treating nine people for the virus on June 8, compared to 146 at the peak of the second wave.

Earlier this week, Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group announced it had given 124,943 people one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine and 85,39 people have had two.

Professor Peter Kelly, Public Health England’s Regional Director for Yorkshire, has reminded people that two doses of a vaccine offers a “high degree of protection” and evidence suggests “vaccines are saving lives and preventing hospitalisations”.