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Mass COVID-19 testing of Sedbergh population “not warranted”

The county council is currently supporting Sedbergh School in its response to a COVID-19 outbreak among staff and pupils. To allow for mass testing of staff and pupils a Mobile Testing Unit will be on site Tuesday and Wednesday.

The county’s COVID-19 Incident Management Hub, chaired by the Director of Public Health, has today considered requests for mass testing to be expanded to the whole local population in Sedbergh. Following discussion, it has been agreed that this will not be taken forward at the current time.

The decision reflects the following:

  • There is no evidence of ‘above normal’ community transmission of COVID-19 in Sedbergh at this time. Since the start of November there have only been four confirmed cases in the local community.
  • There are no current issues with availability of testing via the usual routes, including home testing kits or testing in Kendal (Mondays and Tuesdays), and the turn-around time for results is good.
  • All staff working at the school will be tested.

This decision will be kept under review as the results of the staff testing are received.

Colin Cox, Cumbria’s Director of Public Health, said: “We considered this request carefully but based on the evidence we currently have, mass testing of the whole local population is not warranted. We are continuing to work closely with the school to support their management of the outbreak and the situation remains under review. People living locally should continue to follow the standard advice; if they develop symptoms then self-isolate and get tested, if they test is positive then continue the self-isolation for the required period.”

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