COVID-19, and new Variant update

Please circulate the information below on South African Variant of COVID-19, and what to do if you are a resident of Tottenham Hale (N17) to your contacts, and visit this link to find out more information on COVID-19 by Haringey Council, and this link for the latest COVID-19 government guidance.


South African variant: Should I stay at home? There is no immediate increased public health risk in the area in which the South African variant of the virus has been found, and we do not yet have any evidence of further local spread. The South African variant is thought to have similar infectiousness and severity to the UK variant that is the main COVID variant in circulation.


There is currently no suggestion that the vaccine will not work against the South African variant, although it may reduce its effectiveness and is being looked into, and you should continue to follow the national lockdown guidance as stated here. Schools should continue to be open for critical workers and vulnerable children, and early years settings should continue to provide childcare for all. If you cannot work from home then you can still go to work.


As always: please continue to wash your hands more regularly, wear a face covering when in indoor public settings, and continue to socially distance. For more information on the South African Variant and the enhanced testing programme please click here.


To here what Dr Will Maimaris, Haringey’s Director of Public Health and Professor Kevin Fenton, London regional director at Public Health England say, click here.


If you live in Tottenham Hale (N17) Residents in Tottenham Hale are being asked to take a Covid-19 test following the discovery of a small number of cases showing the South African variant in the borough. Anyone living in the Tottenham Hale (within the N17 postcode area) who do not have any signs of having coronavirus are being offered the chance to take a PCR test. The PCR test, which is normally available only for people who have a new cough, a high temperature or a loss of change of their sense of smell or taste, is considered the gold standard.


Over the next few days, teams will be going door to door offering households home testing kits to all over 16s.

The team will:

  • be wearing ‘Haringey’ printed high visibility vests

  • be wearing appropriate PPE

  • maintain a safe distance

  • help you as much as possible in explaining your test and registering it

  • have ID Stating they are working on behalf of Haringey

They will not:

  • ask you for any personal details

  • ask you to pay for anything

  • require access to your property

A Mobile Testing Unit (MTU) will also be in operation in the area, temporarily stationed at the Tottenham Green Leisure Centre, 1 Philip Lane, N15 4JA. In addition to being tested for Covid-19, positive cases will be examined to determine which strain of the virus the person has been infected with. This will help to see how far – if at all – the South African variant has spread in the community.


Rapid testing in the borough: Haringey has 3 rapid COVID-19 test sites for people who are NOT showing any signs of having the virus. See the attached for more information.


By identifying people who have Covid-19, particularly those who are unable to stay at home for work, it will reduce the spread of the virus. Anyone told to isolate by the NHS Test and Trace Service may be able to claim a £500 payment to help them to isolate if they are losing income from work and receive an eligible Department for Work and Pensions benefit.


If they do not receive one of the eligible benefits, they may qualify for support of up to £500 under the Councils discretionary policy. Find out more on the qualifying criteria and how to apply by clicking here.


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