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No Delta variant surge testing in West Berkshire following Reading and Wokingham spike

West Berkshire Council has decided to not activate its surge testing programme for the Delta coronavirus variant.

The council reviewed its response today (Monday) following surge testing beginning in parts of Reading and Wokingham this week.

It said that as very few cases of the Delta variant, first detected in India, had been identified in the district there was no need to launch the operation.

An illustration of the Covid-19 virus (46736889)
An illustration of the Covid-19 virus (46736889)

Reading Borough Council and Wokingham Borough Council will be contacting schools and employers in these locations to provide advice for people travelling into these areas for work or education.

Service director for communities and wellbeing and a consultant in public health at West Berkshire Council, Matt Pearce, said: “We are supporting our neighbouring authorities in local surge testing and we encourage any of our residents who work or to go school (12+yrs) in the identified areas to get a PCR test at one of the testing sites.

“Whilst the number of Delta cases in West Berkshire is lower than other areas, we will likely see this become the dominant strain over the coming weeks and it remains important that everyone takes up their vaccinations when offered as this continues to be our best defence against the virus.”

Anyone experiencing Covid-19 symptoms should book a PCR test online or by telephoning 119.

West Berkshire has not seen the significant rise in the Delta variant that has been experienced in neighbouring authorities and in other parts of the country, with 13 cases identified to date.

However, based on evidence it is likely that the number of Delta cases, as a proportion of all cases, will rise over the coming weeks.

Leader of West Berkshire Council, Lynne Doherty (Con, Speen) said: “We are keeping a careful watch on the number of people testing positive for the Delta variant of Covid-19 and we are ready to activate our surge testing programme quickly and efficiently if it becomes necessary to do so.

“We ask that residents and visitors to the district continue to follow the Government guidelines closely, particularly with regard to regular hand washing, wearing face coverings and social distancing. We need to all work together to prevent the spread of this new variant in our district.”

Surge testing postcodes for Reading residents are RG1 3, RG1 5, RG1 6 and RG1 7.

For Wokingham, the areas are Bulmershe and Whitegates, Evendons, Norreys and Wescott.

The testing sites and opening hours are:

Prospect Park, Liebenrood Road, Reading, between 2pm and 8pm. Booking not required.

University of Reading, London Road, between 2pm and 8pm. Booking not required.

University of Reading, Car Park 7, RG6 6DR, between noon and 6pm. Booking not required.

Thames Valley Park and Ride, Earley, RG6 1PQ, 7.30am to 1.30pm and 2.30pm to 8.30pm. Booking not required.

Cantley Park Event Field, Twyford Road, Wokingham, RG40 5TU, between noon and 6pm. Booking not required.

Lidl, 6 Headley Road, Reading, RG5 4JA, between midday and 6pm. Booking not required.

Microsoft Campus, Thames Valley Business Park, Reading, between 8am and 8pm (closed on Sundays). Booking not required.

Sindlesham Court, Sindlesham, RG41 5EA, between 8am and 8pm. Booking not required.

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