An operation to target a Corby estate using an army of volunteers for an intensive door-to-door Covid blitz offering PCR and Lateral Flow (LFT) test kits has been 'successful'.
In a ramping up of community testing procedures, a team of volunteers had taken to the streets of the Beanfield estate - a ward with low testing rates but high case rates.
The Covid task force team, comprising 38 members of the public and 10 firefighters had visited households - home to more than 9,000 people - on April 10 and 11.
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A spokesman for Public Health for North and West Northamptonshire Councils said: "We held a very successful door to door Covid-19 testing in Corby.
"As the houses planned to be included in the Beanfield area were completed during Saturday, we were able to extend the offer of testing to some of the Kingswood area.
"Over 3,263 houses across both areas were visited over the weekend and over 1,553 households (48 per cent) took up the offer of a test."
Of the households that responded, 1,546 requested LFT test kits with seven households requesting PCR test kits - offered when a person had symptoms.
A total of 481 households refused a test with 10 per cent saying that were tested regularly at work or school.
Others had recently tested positive for Covid-19, and two per cent refused for another reason, such as they didn’t leave the house.
Only nine per cent of those approached refused outright or didn’t want testing.
Lucy Wightman, joint director of public health for North and West Northamptonshire Councils, said: “We’d like to say a big thank you to our volunteers, and all of those involved in the door to door testing in Beanfield and Kingswood, and also the residents of these areas.
“The pilot provided us with a key opportunity to test system surge capacity plans - a key part of the public health response to spikes in cases, or variants of concern, should they arise in the future.
"The pilot confirmed we have a really good plan in place should there be a need for surge testing, which is vitally important when we are seeing variants of concern elsewhere in the country.
“The Government made rapid Lateral Flow Device test kits available to anyone from April 9 and I’d like to encourage not just Corby residents, but everyone across Northamptonshire, to access free, regular rapid coronavirus tests.
"These can be picked up from community based asymptomatic testing sites such as Lodge Park, from Community Collect Services such as Hazelwood Community Centre, and some local pharmacies.
"If you are unable to get out to pick kits up easily they can also be ordered online.
“As one in three people with Covid-19 won’t have any symptoms, testing regularly using rapid Lateral Flow Device tests is still a vital part of our armoury in getting the Corby rates down lower and keeping them there.”
Corby's seven-day per 100,000 case rate that was the highest in England for much of 2021 has now reduced to a case rate of 40 - 33rd in the table.
Wellingborough leap-frogged to 14th in the table with a case rate of 54. Kettering is now 39th with a case rate of 37 and East Northants is 122nd with 22.
Lodge Park's community-based asymptomatic testing site will now open to walk in clients, as well as bookings, Monday to Saturday 8am to 6.30pm offering an extra day because of the re-purposing of Hazelwood Community Centre.
Hazelwood Community Centre will be open again from Tuesday, April 27 as a Community Collect Site where LFT packs can be picked up for home use.
It will open on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 4pm to 7pm and Saturday 9am to 1pm as a collection site.
For more information about community testing in North Northamptonshire click here. To find the nearest Community Collect Service click here. Order test kits for home delivery by clicking here