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Local testing for Covid-19 variant

Local testing for Covid-19 variant

Last updated 18 June 2021  

Surge testing for Covid-19 variant

We're carrying out Covid-19 local testing (surge testing) between Monday 7 June and Sunday 20 June in the following wards:

  • Bulmershe and Whitegates
  • Evendons
  • Norreys
  • Wescott   
          

We're surge testing because there have been cases of the Covid-19 Delta variant detected in these areas. These cases can't be traced back to international travel. So this suggests that the Covid-19 variant is spreading further into the community.

Known contacts of the above cases have been traced and informed already. But surge testing will help to identify any more cases and prevent the Covid-19 variant from spreading.

Do I need to get tested?

If you're over 12 years old, have no Covid-19 symptoms and live in one of the above wards, you should get tested. Even if you've been vaccinated, you should still get tested.

Use our postcode checker, below, to see if your area is affected.

Check your postcode



Schools and businesses in these areas will be contacted by the council to arrange delivery of testing kits for pupils and staff.

Where to get tested

If you live in one of the affected areas, go to one of our dedicated surge testing centres to get tested. There's no need to book. Just turn up.

Our surge testing centres are at:

  • Shute End Eastern Car Park Mobile Test Centre (RG40 1BN) – Open 12pm to 6pm, Monday to Sunday
  • Cantley Park Event Field Mobile Test Centre (RG40 5TU) – Open 12pm to 6pm, Monday to Sunday
  • Headley Road Car Park Mobile Test Centre (RG5 4JA) – Open 12pm to 6pm, Monday to Sunday
  • Sindlesham Court Test Centre (RG41 5EA) – Open 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday, and 8am to 3pm on Saturday
  • Microsoft Campus Test Centre (RG6 1WG) – Open 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday and 8am to 3pm on Saturday
  • Shute End Test Centre (RG40 1BN) – Open 8am to 8pm, Monday to Saturday, 10.15am to 3.45pm Sunday
  • Thames Valley Park and Ride Test Centre (RG6 1PQ) - Open 7.30am to 1.30pm and 2.30pm to 8.30pm, Monday to Sunday
  • Reading University Car Park 7 Test Centre (RG6 6DR) - Open 12pm to 6pm, Monday to Sunday
         

The mobile testing units located at Shute End Eastern Car Park, Cantley Park, Headley Road Car Park and Thames Valley Park accept people in cars and on foot. The mobile testing unit at the Acorn Community Centre is accepting people by car only. All other test centres accept people on foot only.

Doorstep visits

We'll be door-knocking in the affected areas to inform residents of the surge testing programme. 

Please note that:

  • Volunteers will be from Wokingham Borough Council - they will show you their official ID immediately
  • The test is free - you will never be asked to pay or provide any financial information
  • The testing team won't enter your household and won't do any testing for you
         

If you need any help, or have any concerns, contact us.

Do I need to self-isolate?

You don't need to self-isolate unless you have symptoms, have tested positive and/or have been in contact with someone who has tested positive and have been contacted by NHS Test and Trace.

If you live in the surge testing area, national restrictions remain the same. Keep to the same level of social distancing precautions (hands, face, space and fresh air) that you do now. The full list of what you can and can't do is available on the  Gov.uk website.

More questions?

If you live in the testing area, you may have further questions. We’ve answered some of these below. You can also read our full Covid-19 surge testing Frequently Asked Questions (PDF document).

This information is also available in the following languages:

What is the Covid-19 Delta variant?

The Covid-19 Delta variant that was first identified in India is one of the coronavirus variants currently circulating in the UK. Coronavirus is constantly changing, with new variants identified through routine testing of positive test samples.

Can you tell me more about the person who tested positive for the Covid-19 Delta variant?

No. The identity of the cases is confidential, and we cannot provide any further information.

Does the Delta variant have the same transmission rate?

The variant first identified in India is thought to be more transmissible than some other variants, which means it passes more easily from person to person. It does not appear to cause more serious illness.  

Is it more harmful?

There is no suggestion that the variant is any more harmful that other Covid-19 variants.

Am I going to be at greater risk?

There is no suggestion that you are at any greater risk from the variant to other strains of Covid-19. 

Are the current Covid-19 vaccines effective against it?

The current Covid-19 vaccines are effective against this variant. This is why it's so important for everyone to take the vaccine (when offered) and complete the course of 2 doses for maximum protection.

I don’t have Covid-19 symptoms, why should I get a test?

The more cases of the variant we find, the better chance we have of stopping it from spreading. By playing your part and taking the test, you’ll be helping keep your community and your loved ones safe.

I have Covid-19 symptoms, should I take part in the surge testing programme?

No. If you have Covid-19 symptoms, get a free test from the Gov.uk website, or by calling 119.

What is a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test?

PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests are seen as the gold-standard in Covid-19 testing. They check for the genetic material of the virus in the sample, which is tested in a laboratory.

How will I receive my results?

You'll usually get a text or email with your result when it's ready. Most people get their result the next day, but it may take up to 3 days.

I recently had a Covid-19 test, do I need another?

Yes – if you’ve had a polymerase chain reaction (PCR test), or a lateral flow test (LFT), and the result was negative, you still need to get tested. The reason being that the sample is specifically being ‘genome sequenced’ for the variant. This is a scientific/laboratory process which helps us understand the way the virus behaves and is evolving.

However, if you've tested positive from a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test within the last 90 days, you won't need to be tested.

Are the sites walk-in or drive-through?

The mobile testing units located at Shute End Eastern Car Park, Cantley Park and Headley Road Car Park accept people in cars and on foot. All other test centres accept people on foot only.

How long will this last? When will you publish the results? 

This targeted testing surge is planned to last for 14 days and will be kept under close review. We'll publish the results as soon as possible.

Can I go to work whilst awaiting my results?

Yes. However, if you develop symptoms, you must self-isolate.

I own a business in this area, will my employees be tested?

We'll deliver Covid-19 test kits to you, if you own a business in the area and you have employees on site. Employees should take the test as soon as possible at their work location. Our teams will collect the completed tests from there.

I’m an employer in this area, should I keep my workforce home?

The government guidance is that people should continue to work from home if possible. If your workforce can't work from home, they are permitted to go to work.

Will schools in this area need to close?

No. There are no instructions for schools to close in areas where new variants have been identified.

Do I need to self-isolate if I've been in contact with someone from this area?

You only need to self-isolate if you, or they: have symptoms, have tested positive, or been contacted by NHS Test and Trace.

I live in a nearby postcode, can I get tested?

We're focusing testing on the area where we know we have a confirmed case of the variant. If you live outside of the postcodes, and have symptoms, you can book a Covid-19 test through the Gov.uk website.

What if I have been in this area recently?

You should continue to follow the national guidance and book a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test through the Gov.uk website if you develop symptoms. Regular rapid Covid-19 tests are also available to order for home delivery through the Gov.uk website.

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