THE Public Health Agency has identified a number of probable cases of the Delta variant (VOC-21APR-02, first discovered in India) in areas of Castlewellan.
These early results are suggestive of the variant but this has not been confirmed.
As a precautionary measure asking asymptomatic people aged 18-40 years old from selected, targeted neighbourhoods within the Castlewellan area to get PCR tested. This is so asymptomatic COVID-19 cases can be identified early and reduce the risk of spread in the community.
Those being asked to come forward for testing will be contacted by post from tomorrow (Friday).
A testing centre is being set up at Castlewellan Community Centre in the town.
Dr Bríd Farrell, Assistant Director of Service Development, Safety and Quality at the PHA, said: “PCR testing is opening to those in the 18 to 40 age group as we are seeing more cases of the Delta variant in this age group throughout Northern Ireland.
"We encourage those eligible in the neighbourhoods identified by the agency to book a slot for testing when they receive their letter, and preferably within 24-72 hours of receipt.
"If anyone develops symptoms of COVID-19, which are a new, continuous cough, or a high temperature, or a change in your sense of taste or smell, please book a PCR test as soon as possible and you and your household must self-isolate when waiting for your test appointment and test result.”