Strong start to surge testing as residents thanked
A surge testing operation in Stockton-on-Tees has got off to a strong start, with more than 1,000 people coming forward for testing on the first day.
The extra testing started today after a case of the South African COVID-19 variant was found in the TS19 postcode area.
Anyone aged over 16 who lives in the TS19 postcode area is urged to come forward and book a test, even if they do not have symptoms.
The operation is set to run until Wednesday, March 17.
"We've had a great response and I'd like to thank everyone who has come forward to get a test so far," said the Leader of Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, Councillor Bob Cook.
"The testing centre at Splash in Stockton - which has capacity of more than 800 tests per day - was fully booked today. The new mobile testing unit at Tithebarn House in Hardwick has been very busy too.
"If you are aged 16 or over and live in the TS19 postcode area and you haven't yet booked a test, then we'd encourage you to do so. The more cases we find, the better chance we have of suppressing this variant."
Tests can be booked at one of the existing testing centres at Stockton Splash, Billingham Forum or Thornaby Pavilion, or at a new mobile testing unit in Hardwick.