400 tests at mobile testing site

Monday 7 September 2020

A mobile testing unit outside Kensington Town Hall carried out 400 tests in its first day, following a recent rise in local cases.

The walk-in unit is the first time the small urgent testing unit has been deployed across London and has been open again on Monday 7 September from 10am to 5pm. A testing site will be in place in Olympia on Tuesday and Friday.

There has been a rise in the number of coronavirus cases in recent weeks in the borough. In the week Thursday 23 to Wednesday 29 August there were 42 confirmed Coronavirus cases.

This is a rate of 26.9 cases per 100,000 people, one of the highest per 100,000 rates in London according to this latest data, published on 4 September. Most confirmed cases – nearly 85% – have occurred in people aged under 40 years old.  The Council is targeting communications at younger age groups, with an Instagram ad campaign reaching 26,000 people in the borough so far.

The Council is advising all residents, commuters and visitors in the borough to take extra care to follow the advice from Public Health England and help limit the virus spreading further in the community.

Leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council Cllr Elizabeth Campbell, said:

“Our rate is still far below the figure where a local lockdown along the lines of Leicester or Manchester would be considered, but we are concerned. We need everyone to take extra care to limit the spread of the virus in our community and protect family, friends and neighbours. The last thing we want is to throw away sacrifices we all made during lockdown.

“By following the NHS advice on hand washing, mask wearing and social distancing, we can protect lives and protect livelihoods and make sure Kensington and Chelsea doesn’t have to have a second lockdown.”

The Council is reminding residents to follow the NHS guidance and alerting the community to the increased rate through e-newsletters and its social media channels. Residents can sign up for e-newsletter updates on the council’s website homepage www.rbkc.gov.uk and follow them on Twitter @RBKC, Instagram and Facebook

The Council has also written to care home managers to advise against in person visits to protect care home residents. It will also write to all residents and staff who were shielding during the national lockdown to inform them about the increasing number of cases.

If cases continue to rise, the Council has plans to reinstate its covid-19 hub, which supported residents who were shielding and self-isolating during the national lockdown.

Kensington and Chelsea’s Director of Public Health Russell Styles, said:

“Rates are trending upwards across the city, including in Kensington and Chelsea, and we would expect to see a fluctuation in the number of cases of Coronavirus on a day-to-day basis.

“We have a robust outbreak control plan and we are monitoring the local and regional situation closely with NHS and Public Health England on a daily basis. Coronavirus has not gone away and everyone has the responsibility to help limit the spread. 

“Please make sure you stay two metres from people outside of your household wherever possible, wear a face covering when in places where it’s hard to stay away from other people you do not normally meet, and wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds. If you develop symptoms of the virus, please immediately self-isolate and book a test.”