Birmingham postcode checker shows if you need Covid test as South Africa variant found – Birmingham Live

An interactive postcode checker has been launched to reveal if you need a Covid test after the highly-infectious South African variant was found in the city.

Birmingham City Council has launched the online tool in a bid to suppress the mutant variant that was found in an extended family.

Up to 10,000 adults in Frankley Great Park and south Northfield are to be urged to get a test over the next fortnight in a bid to identify and isolate any more cases.

Mass testing sites opened today (February 4), followed by a new collect and drop service to allow people to get a test at home.

All over 18s who are living or working in Frankley Great Park ward and part of south Northfield between Frankley and the A38 are strongly encouraged to take a PCR COVID-19 test this week through one of the designated sites in the area, even if they are not showing symptoms.

You can check your postcode by clicking here.

Two cases in the same extended family have been confirmed, said city director of public health Dr Justin Varney.

Neither has travelled abroad, meaning they have caught it locally, he said – possibly during encounters with visitors over Christmas.

They are part of an extended family, living in three homes in the same part of the city, who developed coronavirus symptoms early in January. Some family members have been seriously ill as a result, he added.

Further testing since, using genomic testing, has identified two cases of the South African variant among them.

That places the city on high alert and part of so-called Operation Eagle, a national programme to try to contain community spread of the troubling South African variant, he said.

A similar operation is under way in Walsall WS2 7 postcodes after a single case was found there.

The council is working closely with Public Health England and the national NHS Track and Trace team to support measures to curb any potential spread.

If a person tests positive, has any symptoms, or are contact traced following close contact with someone who tests positive, they should self-isolate immediately and there is both financial and practice support available, he said.

“There is currently no evidence to suggest this variant is more serious than others, or that the regulated vaccine would not protect against it, however it is important that we control the spread of this new variant quickly,” he said.