West Berkshire Council

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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Find information about community support and our services during the coronavirus pandemic, on our information for residents pages, our information for businesses pages, and our community support hub page which has guidance to help coordinate community organisations.

See a summary of our Local Outbreak Control Plan and read our frequently asked questions. 

Covid-19 testing advice for Berkshire West residents

Residents asked to only ask for a Covid-19 test if they have symptoms, or have been asked to get a test.

Play your part local covid19 outbreak plan

Residents across western Berkshire are being asked to only request a Covid-19 test if they have symptoms, or have been asked to get a test.

There is currently a high demand on the Covid-19 testing system, caused by capacity at the labs and not at local testing centres. The Department for Health and Social Care is prioritising tests in areas where there are higher rates of Covid-19. Berkshire has lower case numbers than elsewhere in the country - with 97% of tests on Berkshire residents last month coming back negative for Covid-19.

Speaking on behalf of the Berkshire West Health Protection Board, Meradin Peachey, Deputy Director Public Health Berkshire West, said:

"Across the country we are seeing a high demand for Covid-19 testing. Some of these will be people seeking tests as a precautionary measure or to reassure themselves that they don't have Covid-19. We're asking residents only to book a test if they have been asked to do, or they are displaying symptoms of Covid-19.

"Across Berkshire we're continually updating our local outbreak plans and ensure we are ready to react should we see a significant increase in cases locally. However, this has not been the case so far and local residents can be confident in the plans we have in place to deal prevent and prepare for any resurgence of Covid-19."

If you have any symptoms of Covid, you should isolate and seek a test by phoning 119 or booking online.  The symptoms to look out for are fever, a continuous cough and loss of taste or smell.  If you do not have symptoms you do not need a test unless you are part of a group of health and care workers who receive regular testing.

If you have been identified as a contact of a case then you should isolate for 14 days.  Two weeks covers the incubation and infectious periods of the infection.  You do not need a test unless you have symptoms but if you do have a test and it comes back negative, you still need to isolate for the whole period.  The same applies if you are isolating having returned from overseas. 

Residents can play their part by maintaining social distancing guidelines and wearing a face covering where it is required to do so.

  • You should always try to stay 2 metres away from other people, wash your hands often, not touch your face and catch coughs and sneezes in a tissue. These actions are critical to reducing the transmission of COVID-19 in our communities. More information is available on what you can do to protect yourself and others.
  • Wear a face covering on public transport, in shops and supermarkets, and all other public places where you are required to do so by law. More information is available on when to wear a face covering and how to make your own face covering.
  • You should limit the number of people you see socially. Always try to stay 2 metres away from people you do not live with or who are not in your 'support bubble'. More information is available on support bubbles and social distancing.
  • Unless you live in an area with local restrictions, you and the people you live with can socialise indoors with people from one other household, and you can stay overnight with each other. Try to keep 2 metres apart from people not in your own household. More information is available on what you can and can't do.
  • You can socialise outdoors with up to 6 people from different households. If you want to socialise with more than 6 people, you can meet outside up to a limit of 30 people, but only if they are from your household and one other household. Always try to keep 2 metres apart. More information is available on how to safely meet other people outside of your home.
  • You should take special care when spending time with people who are clinically extremely vulnerable. More information is available on how to support people who are clinically extremely vulnerable.