York council staff will be knocking on residents’ doors in some areas of the city to offer them free Covid tests from tomorrow (Wednesday).
The move is part of plans to encourage more people to take regular symptom-free Covid tests.
When it was revealed that a small number of cases of the Indian variant of coronavirus had been discovered on Friday, city health officials said there was no need for surge or door-to-door testing.
But the change of heart is not a response to increased cases or the confirmation of cases of a variant of concern in the city last week, a council spokesperson said.
Council staff will visit the following streets tomorrow to offer free Covid tests:
- Wolsley Street
- Gordon Street
- Willis Street
- Wellington Street
- Barbican Mews.
These are all in the Fulford Road area of York which has the highest number of new cases in York.
Public health bosses are encouraging residents to take a Covid test twice a week.
Covid tests will be offered at the vaccination centre, to employers across the city and at the University of York, York St John University, York Leisure Centre at the York Stadium Leisure Complex, Acomb Explore and Foxwood Community Centre testing sites.
In-person tests are available at St William’s College in the city centre.
‘We can’t be complacent’
Sharon Stoltz, director of public health at City of York Council, said: “Infection rates in York remain low currently but we can’t afford to be complacent.
“In recent months we have been putting a lot of work into encouraging people to get tested, including opening up new testing sites across the city, with lots of tests being carried out every week.
“We are continuing to take a preventative approach. One in three cases of Coronavirus has no symptoms. As we are able to see more of our friends and family we want to give our city the best possible chance of keeping cases down by encouraging more people to get tested.”
Council leader Keith Aspden added: “We have seen the rate of Covid cases rising in other areas of the country, so we are keen to take proactive and preventative action to keep cases low in York by trying new ways to encourage more residents to get tested.
“We are hugely grateful to the many York residents who are continuing to do their part and get tested regularly.
“We are urging more residents to join the city-wide effort and get tested regularly to protect each other and our city.”