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. 

Community Testing in West Berkshire (Lateral Flow Testing)

Around one in three people who have coronavirus have no symptoms and will be spreading it without realising it

News update on 6 May 2021:

 

Lateral flow device testing (rapid Covid-19 tests) should continue after Covid-19 vaccination

People who have had their first dose, or even both doses, of a Covid-19 vaccine should still continue to take part in regular lateral flow testing (twice-weekly rapid Covid-19 tests, which are free to obtain).

Although we know that the vaccines offer good protection from death, severe disease and symptoms of Covid-19, they do not offer full protection from catching or spreading the virus. We know that one in three people can have the virus without showing any symptoms and so continuing to test regularly can help keep you and others around you safe.

It's also important to remember that when you receive a Covid-19 vaccine, immunity is not immediate and it takes around three weeks for the vaccine to offer protection. The body requires a period of time to make the antibodies needed to produce an effective immune response to fight a future Covid-19 infection. It's therefore still possible to catch and spread Covid-19 during this time and so testing is another tool we can use in order to keep ourselves and others safe.

People are advised to visit any of our testing sites (no appointment is necessary) to have lateral flow testing done twice a week, three to four days apart. You may also collect a home testing kits at any of our testing sites, your local pharmacy or online at https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests. See more details on all of these options in the sections below.

 

Community Testing site updates (as of 5 May 2021)

Please note the following updates listed below for our community testing sites:

Thatcham Memorial Hall testing site is up and running and replaces the previous one at Thatcham Rugby Club. All residents aged 16 and above are welcome to visit the testing site for twice weekly lateral flow testing or to collect lateral flow device home testing kits. Please note that you do not need to make an appointment to visit Thatcham Memorial Hall testing site or the one at Burghfield Community Sports Association and Highwood Copse Primary School, but you can if you wish.

The Hungerford mobile testing site takes over from the old testing site at Hungerford Rugby Football Club. The mobile testing site is located at Church Street (Library) Car Park and people can collect lateral flow device home testing kits and have twice weekly lateral flow testing.  There is no appointment system in operation for this mobile testing site, so people can simply turn up to the car park to have their lateral flow testing needs met.

Burghfield Community Sports Association site has moved to operating Monday to Friday.

There are no changes for the Highwood Copse, Newbury testing site at this time.

As we move to a mobile solution for more of our sites, booking will no longer be required.  Our sites will already accept walk ins and no appointments are necessary.  If you do however wish to make an appointment for the static sites which remain, please go to www.westberks.gov.uk/lft

Residents aged 16 and above are welcome to have twice weekly lateral flow device testing at any of our four testing sites and remember you can also collect home testing kits from these venues at any time.

 

How to obtain regular Covid-19 tests (lateral flow tests)

Free, twice-weekly rapid Covid-19 tests are available to every person in England who does not have Covid-19 symptoms.

The rapid test used is called a Lateral Flow Test (LFT) and it delivers the results within around 30 minutes. If tested positive, it is imperative that you and your contacts isolate at home, away from friends and family, and do not leave your home unless for essential reasons, such as medical care or to escape harm.

As we emerge from lockdown, using this method for regular testing in the months ahead can help us all get back to normal. Breaking the 'Covid Chain' is vitally important to stop the virus from spreading and we urge everyone in West Berkshire to get tested twice weekly as part of your normal routine.

Secondary schools are already being supplied with twice-weekly home tests for pupils and staff.

The four key ways to get the free rapid tests are:

  • Method 1 - through our community test centres (for those aged 16+)
  • Method 2 - home testing options (for all ages)
  • Method 3 - through your employer if they are offering testing
  • Method 4 - through secondary schools, colleges and universities (for students and staff)

Information on each of the above options is listed below.

Please note that the rapid tests are not to be used for anyone displaying symptoms of Covid-19.  An alternative test called PCR is required. See more information by scrolling down to the end of this page.

 

Method 1 - Rapid Testing at a Community Testing Site (16+)

Taking a test at one of our community testing sites provides you with a result within 30 minutes and takes less than 5 minutes to do. It's simple and effective.

Anyone aged 16+ can visit one of our four Community Testing Sites in Hungerford, Burghfield, Newbury or Thatcham. Booking details and opening times/days can be found here: https://www.westberks.gov.uk/lft. It is worth noting that you do not have to make an appointment but the option is there if you would like to. To be most effective, these should be undertaken twice weekly at least 3 to 4 days apart.

Appointment slots are approximately 30 minutes. Appointments are per person - please attend the appointment alone unless you need support from another adult.

When visiting the test centre please use the hand sanitisation stations provided in front of the entrance, within the waiting area and as you exit from the building. You will be required to use these when you arrive and when you leave the building.  You must also wear an appropriate face covering when in the building. If you do not have one, you will be provided with one. There is a one-way entry and exit system and you will be invited into the building a few minutes before your appointment.

Results are sent to your phone/email or you can contact 119.

Should you test positive, the national contact tracing team will be in touch to help identify who you have recently been in close contact with, because they may also be at risk of getting the infection. The local public health team may also follow up positive cases to establish close contact situations should the national team be unable to contact you.


Method 2 - Home testing options

The home testing kits use the same lateral flow testing process as at our community testing sites, but can be done by yourself at home.

To give you confidence in doing the tests properly at home, we recommend you first book a test at one of our four community testing sites (you need to be aged 16+ to visit the testing sites). There our experienced testing staff will share knowledge and expertise with you. Then you can collect your box of tests to take home with you.

These home test kits can be accessed through the following channels:

  • Collect a testing kit box (contains 7 tests) from one of the four static sites (see https://www.westberks.gov.uk/lft for address details). No booking is necessary and you do not need any identification to collect a box of kits.
  • Order online for home delivery (eligibility requirements apply) at https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests
  • Order by phone via 119 for home delivery (eligibility requirements apply). Lines are open 7am to 11pm and calls are free.
  • Through a local pharmacy (participating stores only). Find out the pharmacy locations here: https://maps.test-and-trace.nhs.uk/
  • Pick up from our Community Collect Mobile offer, which enables you to pick up a box of seven (7) testing kits at visiting areas at the same time each week. See below for more information:

 

West Berkshire Community Collect Mobile Option to pick up home testing kits

COMMENCING MONDAY, 12 APRIL 2021

ROUTE 1 - MONDAYS

 Stops    

 Location

 Start         

 End

 Stop 1

 Great Shefford Village Hall (RG17 7DR)

 9.30 am

 10.15 am

 Stop 2

 Lambourn Market Square (RG17 8XU)

 11.00 am

 12.00 noon   

 Stop 3

 Brightwalton Village Hall (RG20 7DH)

 12.30 pm

 1.15 pm

 Stop 4

 Leckhampstead Village Hall (RG20 8QZ)

 2.30 pm

 3.15 pm

 Stop 5  

 Chieveley Village Hall and Recreation Ground (RG20 8TE)        

 3.45 pm     

 4.30 pm

 

ROUTE 2 - TUESDAYS

 Stops    

 Location

 Start          

 End          

 Stop 1

 Acland Village Hall, Cold Ash (RG19 9JH)

 9.30 am      

 10.15 am       

 Stop 2

 Bucklebury Memorial Hall (RG7 6QH)

 10.45 am

 11.45 am

 Stop 3

 Pangbourne Village Hall (RG8 7AN)

 12.15 pm

 1.15 pm

 Stop 4

 Sainsbury's Calcot car park (RG31 7SA)

 2.30 pm

 3.15 pm

 Stop 5  

 Sulhamstead & Ufton Village Hall (RG7 4DD)                              

 3.45 pm

 4.30 pm

 

ROUTE 3 - WEDNESDAYS

 Stops    

 Location

 Start         

 End        

 Stop 1

 Brimpton Village Hall (RG7 4TD)

 9.30 am      

 10.15 am      

 Stop 2

 Woolhampton Village Hall (RG7 5RG)

 10.30 am

 11.30 am 

 Stop 3  

 Rosebourne Garden Centre, Aldermaston (RG7 4LD)                

 12.00 pm

 1.00 pm

 Stop 4

 Padworth Village Hall (RG7 4HS)

 2.15 pm

 3.15 pm

 Stop 5

 St John's Mortimer Church of England Car Park (RG7 3SY) 

 3.45 pm

 4.30 pm

 

ROUTE 4 - THURSDAYS

 Stops    

 Location

 Start          

 End         

 Stop 1

 Hermitage Village Hall (RG18 9WL)                                    

 9.30 am

 10.15 am        

 Stop 2  

 Hampstead Norreys Village Hall (RG18 0TR)

 10.45 am

 11.30 am

 Stop 3   

 Ashampstead Village Green
 (Holly Lane Hardstanding) RG8 8RS

 11.45 am

 12.30 pm

 Stop 4

 Streatley Primary School (The Coomb) RG8 9QP                        

 2.00 pm

 2.45 pm

 Stop 5

 Basildon Village Hall (RG8 8NU)

 3.30 pm

 4.30 pm

 

ROUTE 5 - FRIDAYS

 Stops    

 Location

 Start         

 End                 

 Stop 1  

 Hamstead Marshall Village Hall, Park Lane (RG20 0HL) 

 9.15 am

10.15 am

 Stop 2

 Coronation Hall, Kintbury (RG17 9TX)

 10.45 am  

 11.45 am  

 Stop 3

 Woodlands St Mary Social Club & Village Hall (RG17 7SL)         

 1.15 pm

 2.00 pm

 Stop 4

 Boxford Village Hall (RG20 8DD)

 2.30 pm

 3.30 pm

 Stop 5

 Stockcross Recreation Ground (RG20 8LN)

 4.00 pm     

 4.45 pm

 


Method 3 - tests via your employer

Businesses can offer free rapid (lateral flow) tests for their employees who cannot work from home. This can be on-site testing or home kits for staff.  If your employer offers testing please arrange this through your workplace.


Method 4 - schools related testing

Secondary school, college, and university students and staff  will receive home test kits from their school setting.

Pre-school and primary age pupils do not require testing.


Symptomatic Testing (if you are displaying symptoms of Covid-19)

If you are displaying any of the following symptoms:

  • A high temperature

  • A new, continuous cough

  • You've lost your sense of smell or taste, or it's changed

...then you should book a PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) test and not a lateral flow/home test.

For information on how to obtain or book a PCR test (either through your local PCR testing site which for West Berkshire is the Newbury Showground) or to receive a PCR test in the post, you should visit https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test. This also contains helpful information on instructions to isolate, who is eligible for test and what additional support is available during your isolation period.