Targeted testing in ME15

Targeted testing in parts of the ME15 area took place between Tuesday 26 and Friday 29 January.

Nearly 10,000 tests were delivered to more than 6,600 houses by a team of around 80 staff from:

  • Kent County Council
  • Kent Police
  • Kent Fire and Rescue Service
  • Maidstone Borough Council
  • Re:Act
  • Rapid Relief Team
  • South East 4x4.

The rapid rollout was led by the Kent Resilience Forum after the government asked for as many people as possible to be tested, following information that a specific South African variant of COVID-19 may have been identified in the area in a resident who has no links to travel or other variant cases.

Everyone aged 16 and over was asked to carry out a PCR test in their home and this test was then picked up by the same team and sent for laboratory testing.

The tests are now being sequenced to identify whether the positive test results also test positive for the specific variant strain known as the South African variant.

Test results

Public Health England has been analysing the completed tests and anyone who tested positive for COVID-19 will be informed so that they can self-isolate.

Our public health team are working closely with Public Health England and the Department for Health and Social Care and further information will be released on when and how we can report on whether the South African variant has been identified in the targeted areas.

Play your part

Play your part to protect yourselves and your loved ones, and don’t be the reason someone catches COVID. You can help by getting regularly tested at one of our symptom-free test sites.

If you have coronavirus symptoms, please book a test for people with symptoms or call 119.