By Leah Conway
The COVID-19 variant first detected in India has been found in one household in Huddersfield.
Kirklees Council has confirmed a small number of cases and will carry out additional testing to limit the spread of the variant. Close contacts were identified and have isolated. Further testing will occur at a local school where pupils and staff will take tests for the variant.
Rachel Spencer-Henshall, Strategic Director for Public Health at Kirklees Council, said:
“Close contacts were identified and isolated at the time of the initial positive results. However, now we know this is related to a variant of concern. We must be extra cautious and do everything we can to monitor and prevent its spread.
“Some members of this household are pupils at a local school. So, any pupils or staff at the school classed as a close contact – as well as those they share a household with – are being asked to take a PCR test, to help us to identify any variant of concern cases so that we can contain the spread.
“I understand people might be concerned about this, but please know there is no evidence to suggest this variant causes more severe illness than any other variant currently circulating in the UK, but it is understood to spread more easily. There is also currently no evidence to suggest this was transmitted at the school.
“We want to reassure the public that if we all follow the rules, then the risk of any onward spread is low.”
The public is urged to continue following government guidelines and advice, to remember to wash hands, wear face coverings and social distance. Remember, you can get tested regularly with the free lateral flow tests.