The surge testing operation to understand the spread of a South African variant of COVID-19 in parts of Woking has now been completed.
Initial numbers from the operation, which began on Tuesday and finished on Saturday afternoon, show that over 90% of test kits delivered have been done and collected – a fantastic response from residents who have stepped up and played their part.
Gavin Stephens, Chief Constable of Surrey Police and Local Resilience Forum lead for this operation, said: “I want to say a huge thank you to the residents of Goldsworth Park, St Johns and Knaphill in Woking, who have been so willing to help us in this important task.
“The reaction on the doorstep has been magnificent and people have genuinely wanted to do whatever they can to help our efforts.
“I also want to thank the volunteers who have braved the rain and cold to be out there over the last few days. Their friendly and helpful demeanour has undoubtedly made a big difference and this simply would not have been possible without their efforts.
“The Local Resilience Forum is all about working together – in partnership with each other and with residents – and this exercise has been a successful example of that.”
Any residents whose kits may have been missed for collection, can take those completed tests to the Mobile Testing Unit located in the car park opposite Goldwater Lodge, GU21 3RT. It is open 7 days a week from 9am-3pm, until 11 Feb. Tests should be dropped off as soon as possible after completing the test.
Volunteers were made up of Woking Borough Council staff, Surrey Police and Team React volunteers. Surrey Fire & Rescue Service hosted the operational base at Woking Fire Station, with Surrey County Council, Surrey Police, Public Health England, and Department of Health & Social Care advising the operation.
The surge testing operation is aimed at understanding any community spread of a variant of COVID-19 known as SARS-CoV-2 (or VOC-202012/02) which originated in South Africa.
The Surrey Local Resilience Forum has been working on the COVID response for Surrey since March 2020 and is made up of local partners including Surrey County Council, Surrey Police, District & Borough Councils, Surrey Fire & Rescue Service, Public Health England, local health services, volunteer organisations and others.