Omicron variant of Covid identified in Lancaster

A case of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 has been confirmed in the Lancaster area.

UK Health Security Agency is working with Lancashire County Council's public health team and Lancaster City Council to identify contacts of the individual, who is self-isolating.

All contacts of the individual will be followed up and requested to isolate and get tested as necessary, regardless of their vaccine status.

Dr Sakthi Karunanithi, director of Public Health for Lancashire, said: "Robust contact tracing is taking place following identification of the single case of the Omicron variant in Lancaster.

Lancaster Town Hall is being used as a Covid vaccination centre.

"We have more work to do to understand what, if any, spread of the new variant within the local community may have occurred and limit the opportunity for any further spread.

"While this work takes place, it is important that everyone takes sensible precautions, especially at a time when we are seeing high infection rates in Lancashire.

"The quickest way of breaking the chains of transmission is for individuals who test positive to self-isolate immediately.

"Get a PCR test if you have symptoms, isolate when asked and wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces, including in shops and on public transport.

"We are also advising people to continue to test regularly using lateral flow tests and before they go to a high-risk situation.

"Vaccines remain our greatest line of defence against Covid-19, so please book your booster when you are invited.

"If you have not yet come forward for your first or second jab then please come forward – it has never been more important to do so."

To find out how to access lateral flow and PCR tests in the Lancaster City Council area, go online here.More information and advice is available here.