Mass PCR testing to start after rise in Covid-19 cases

People aged 18-23 living or working in Cambridge are being urged to get a PCR test for Covid-19 as part of extra testing

People aged 18-23 living or working in Cambridge and those they live with are being urged to get a PCR test for Covid-19 as part of extra testing rolled out by Cambridgeshire County Council. - Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire/PA Images 

Extra PCR testing will start in Cambridge from Monday after a rise in Covid-19 cases, especially in those aged 18-24. 

It comes as current rates of the virus in the city are 370 per 100,000 – a 71.7 per cent increase on the same time last week. 

Rolled out by Cambridgeshire County Council, those in the targeted age group who are living or working in Cambridge, as well as those they live with, are being asked to come along and be part of the extra testing, helping to identify cases of the virus early to reduce the spread. 

Individuals can get a PCR test from one of the two sites in the city, which will operate seven days a week, 10:00am-4:00pm, until Sunday 25th July. 

  • Cambridge North Station, Cowley Road, Cambridge, CB4 0WZ 

  • Parker’s Piece in the city centre 

The testing is only for people who do not have symptoms of Covid-19 – PCR test are very different, they can detect cases at a very early stage. 

Dr Emily Smith, Consultant in Public Health for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough City Council, said: “You may feel fine, but we know that one in three people with Covid has the virus without symptoms and so you could be spreading it to your friends and family without knowing. 

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“Even if you have had your vaccine, one or both doses, we still need you to take a test.” 

“We want to get a grip on it and turn the tide on this rise before restrictions are lifted, and we know that one of the ways we can do that is to provide more PCR testing for people living and working in the city. 

“It is quick, painless, and you should get your results within 24 hours.” 

The site at Parker’s Piece is accessible to people on foot or bike only.  

The site at Cambridge North Station can be used by people with a car; those attending will have parking charges waived for visits to the testing site of up to an hour. 

Rapid testing is also being offered in the county to every adult and people are encouraged to take a test twice a week.