IT was confirmed yesterday evening, Monday, that Warrington is one of a number of areas to receive an enhanced Covid support package.

The support package aims to tackle a rise in cases of the Delta variant, which was first recorded in India, and has been announced for more areas of the north west and Birmingham.

Local authorities will be given additional resources, including military aid, to help with delivering surge testing.

The measures are the same as the ones announced for Greater Manchester and Lancashire last week, but what do they actually mean for residents?

Additional resources to help with testing:

The council will be given extra support to boost the town’s testing programme.

This includes help with logistics, planning and the number of people involved in the testing process.

Door-to-door visits to engage with residents and other activities are to be expected.

The extra help is due to come from surge rapid response teams, from military aid or other sources depending on requirements.

Wastewater testing:

Samples of wastewater are due to be prioritised for sequencing.

People who have had Covid-19 shed the virus during daily activities such as going to the toilet and blowing noses.

The virus enters the sewer system through sinks, drains and toilets, and fragments of the virus can be detected in sewage samples.

Warrington Guardian:

This testing programme analyses sewage for these virus fragments, taking samples from sewage flowing into wastewater treatment plants and from manholes on a daily basis.

This helps identify where the virus is circulating in England, detecting spikes in prevalence and helping to inform localised action.

Specialist communications:

There will be a greater level of communication between public bodies and residents to increase awareness of coronavirus, the Delta variant and the risk level in the town.

There will also be a focus on engagement with disadvantaged groups.

Maximising vaccine uptake:

Existing channels of vaccination in the town are set to be expanded, potentially with the age for jabs being reduced to allow a greater coverage.

Developments are set to be made to increase vaccine capacity and improve local and targeted communications to reach different communities.


Supervised in-school testing is set to receive a boost to prevent virus transmission among pupils, and in turn family members.

Discretion will be given to local authorities to reintroduce face coverings in indoor communal areas and classrooms in schools if they and directors of public health decide it is appropriate.

Surge testing:

Focus will be placed on Warrington’s testing program to increase capacity and make sure everyone who wants a test can get one.

Warrington Guardian: They asymptomatic coronavirus testing centre in Warrington town centreThey asymptomatic coronavirus testing centre in Warrington town centre

Surge testing is increased testing, which includes door-to-door testing, of people who do not have any symptoms of Covid-19.

There will also be enhanced contact tracing to identify those who have been in close contact with someone who has contracted the virus to prevent further transmission.

Enhanced monitoring:

Genomic sequencing is becoming increasingly important to contain Covid-19.

It allows health authorities to study prolonged outbreaks of the virus, identify coronavirus clusters, locate so-called ‘superspreaders’ and better understand how Covid-19 spreads.

Sequencing involves analysing a virus sample taken from a confirmed case and compares it with others, as while the genome of one case compared with the person they caught it from is almost identical, differences between strands of the virus as they are passed on to other people become clearer.

Genotype assay testing will also be deployed, and it is set to halve the time it currently takes to identify if a positive Covid-19 sample contains a variant of concern

By notifying those affected more quickly, this could allow contacts of positive cases to be traced sooner, breaking the chains of transmission, stop the spread of variants and saving lives.