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'Clear link' between lab and high Covid rates in Berkshire

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West Berkshire's service director for communities and wellbeing says the Wolverhampton lab at the centre of false negative Covid tests sent from the Newbury Showground site earlier this month is a key factor in the spike of cases in the South West.

"There is a clear link between the lab and high rates reflected in local authorities to the west of West Berkshire, such as Swindon and Gloucestershire," said Matt Pearce.

He added that he and his team will be meeting with headteachers in the district later this week to discuss safety measures for returning to school after the half-term break.

Newbury test centre.
Newbury test centre.

West Berkshire's 'Gold' Covid response team has been reinstated and is forward planning for any potential moves from government to switch to 'Plan B' at a later stage.

He said no direct conversation had taken place with government officials on the move, which could include advice to work from home and compulsory masks.

West Berkshire's Local Outbreak Engagement Board meets this evening (6pm).

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