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Changes to coronavirus testing sites in Thatcham, Hungerford and Burghfield

Changes are being made to community coronavirus testing sites in West Berkshire this week.

Four centres opened in the district earlier this year at Highwood Copse Primary School in Newbury, Thatcham Rugby Club, Hungerford Rugby Football Club and Burghfield Community Sports Association.

West Berkshire Council has said that the Thatcham Rugby Club site will close on Wednesday, with testing moving to Thatcham Memorial Hall from Friday, April 30.

Coronavirus testing centre at Highwood Copse Primary School in Newbury (46560673)
Coronavirus testing centre at Highwood Copse Primary School in Newbury (46560673)

The Hungerford rugby site testing site will also close this Wednesday and a new mobile testing site will open at the Church Street (Library) car park from Friday.

The Burghfield site will operate Monday to Friday only from this week.

The centres initially offered lateral flow tests (LFTs) to key workers with the aim of preventing people who may be asymptomatic from transmitting the virus without realising.

The council began expanded community testing twice a week to everyone aged 16 and over in West Berkshire in April.

Appointments can be booked at https://www.westberks.gov.uk/lft

Community testing kits are available to collect from the centres and the council has encouraged people to take up the offer of twice-weekly LFT testing

Council figures showed that 793 kits were collected from the four centres in the week of April 12, the first that non-essential retail, hospitality and other businesses could reopen after lockdown 3.

The breakdown of kits collected was 318 at Highwood, 335 at Thatcham, 37 at Hungerford and 103 at Burghfield.

In the same week 148 LFTs were carried out at Highwood, 125 at Thatcham, 36 at Hungerford, and 294 at Burghfield.

A new mobile community collect offer has also been touring the district to reach people in rural areas who may find it difficult to access the four testing centres.

The number of kits collected from the mobile unit in the week of April 12 was 2,127.

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