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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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Covid-19: Update on Delta cases in West Berkshire

Council determines surge testing is not required in West Berkshire

Woman in car doing Covid-19 test

On 7 June 2021, West Berkshire Council reviewed the need to conduct surge testing in the district due to the increase in the number of Delta cases and resulting surge testing being undertaken in the neighbouring authorities of Reading and Wokingham. The decision was made not to activate its surge testing programme in West Berkshire at this time because very few cases of the Delta variant, first detected in India, have been identified in the district. 

The district hasn't seen the significant rise that has been experienced in neighbouring authorities and in other parts of the country, to date, there have only been thirteen cases identified. 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.

The Council recognises that some residents may work or go to school in the affected areas. It has been agreed that, as part of their surge testing programme, Reading Borough Council and Wokingham Borough Council will contact schools and employers in these locations to provide advice for people travelling into these areas for work or education.

Cllr Lynne Doherty, Leader of West Berkshire Council, 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 handwashing, wearing face coverings and social distancing. We need to all work together to prevent the spread of this new variant in our district."

Matt Pearce, Service Director for Communities & Wellbeing and a consultant in public health West Berkshire Council, 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.

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