Plea for Preston residents to get tested after new coronavirus mutation found in Lancashire

Posted on - 4th February, 2021 - 4:59pm | Author - | Posted in - Health, Politics, Preston News, South Ribble News
Preston's coronavirus test centre in Vernon Street close to the UCLan campus Pic: Tony Worrall
Preston’s coronavirus test centre in Vernon Street close to the UCLan campus Pic: Tony Worrall

Residents in West Lancashire and Preston are being urged to get a Covid test if they’re feeling unwell, after cases of the new mutation have come to light in Lancashire.


Symptoms of the new mutation include mild flu or cold symptoms, and headaches.

Some people may just be a bit under the weather, but the Lancashire Resilience Forum are asking that anyone living in the Preston or West Lancashire areas should get tested if feeling unwell.

The new mutation is not the South African variant which has recently been detected. This is another variation which was first identified in Merseyside.

Read more: NHS confirms Covid jab now offered at every eligible care home in Preston and Lancashire

Dr Sakthi Karunanithi, director of public health and wellbeing at Lancashire County Council, said: “If you live in Preston or West Lancashire and you’re feeling under the weather, please get a Covid test.

“It doesn’t matter if you don’t have the three classic symptoms of a fever, loss of taste or smell, or a cough – even a headache could be an indication you may have this mutation.

Dr Sakthi Karunanithi
Dr Sakthi Karunanithi

“Understandably, some residents may be concerned, but all viruses mutate over time so this should not cause any further alarm. Alongside our partners, please rest assured that we are monitoring the situation closely. It is important to stress that there is currently no evidence that this mutation alone causes more severe illness or is more transmissible.

Read more: Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire coronavirus infection rates continue to fall as nation told ‘we are past this Covid peak’ 

“The best way to control the spread is for everyone to continue to abide by the lockdown rules and following the simple steps of washing your hands, using a face covering and making space from each other.

“While Covid has been here for a while now, these new variants remind us that we all need to keep doing what we can to stay safe and avoid spreading Covid to each other.”

Extra mobile testing units are also being deployed to the affected areas to help ramp up testing.

Information on where to get a coronavirus vaccine can be seen below

Book your test by visiting the council website. When asked why you are getting one, please use the option that ‘the council has asked you to get a test’.

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