Northern Ireland news

Enhanced testing in Castlewellan and Derry after Delta variant cases identified

Asymptomatic people in targeted neighbourhoods in Derry and Castlewellan are being asked to come forward for testing a number of possible Delta variant cases were identified. Stephen Davison/Pacemaker Press.
Seamus McKinney

ENHANCED Covid-19 testing centres are being opened in Derry and Castlewellan after a number of possible Delta variant cases were identified.

The Public Health Agency (PHA) is inviting asymptomatic people in the 18-40 age group in targeted neighbourhoods to come forward for PCR tests to reduce the risk of spread in the community.

Those being asked to come forward for testing are being contacted by letter from today. (FRI)

PHA assistant director, Dr Bríd Farrell said: "By slowing the spread of the virus, this allows us to get more people in the community vaccinated and get protected against Covid-19 which is effective against the Delta variant".

Those receiving letters are asked to book a test at designated centres by visiting:

Two mobile testing units, open from 9am to 3pm daily, in Derry are located at Templemore sports complex and at Glendermott Church of Ireland.

A drive-through facility is available (9am-5.30pm) at the Lycra company car park while a walk-through facility is available (8am-2pm) at car park 3, Ulster University Magee campus, Rock Road.

The Castlewellan centre is at Castlewellan community centre, 32 Circular Road and is open from 9am to 3pm daily.

Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Martina Anderson described possible cases of the Delta variant in Derry as "concerning" and asked people to continue to "follow the public health guidelines".

Cathy Mason, chairwoman of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, said it was "important to act early" and appealed to anyone who receives a letter to "come along and get tested, to do your bit to reduce the potential spread in your community.

The news comes as 198 new Covid-19 cases were reported in Northern Ireland yesterday however no further deaths.

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