From Tuesday 6 April, households and bubbles of school, college or nursery staff or pupils will be able to collect lateral flow testing kits to use at home from several sites across the borough, thanks to the council’s efforts to expand its testing programme and launch a ‘Community Collect’ scheme.
Up until now, these groups have been encouraged to have regular rapid tests at the council’s Shute End, Sindlesham Court, or Microsoft Campus test centres; or to collect home testing kits from local PCR test centres in Reading or Bracknell. The launch of ‘Community Collect’ will make it even easier for these residents to access tests closer to home; and do these tests at a time that’s most convenient to them.
Home test kits can be collected from Sindlesham Court (Monday 9am-4pm, Tuesday to Saturday 8am-4pm), the Microsoft Campus (Monday 9am-4pm, Tuesday and Thursday 8am-8pm and Wednesday, Friday Saturday 8am-4pm) and Woosehill Community Centre (Tuesday and Thursday, 8am to 7pm).
There is no need to order in advance and test kits can be given to up to two adults per household. Wokingham Borough Council staff members will be on hand at each site to offer support and guidance on effective testing.
The council will review demand and make a more extensive collection offering where required. It has already rolled out mobile rapid testing units in Lower Earley and Wokingham town centre; with more locations set to be announced in the coming weeks.
Matt Pope, Director of Adult Services, said: “Throughout the pandemic we’ve always worked hard to meet the needs of our residents. We were the first local authority in Berkshire to launch a mobile rapid testing programme and the uptake and feedback has been brilliant. We’re in a really strong position to complement our static and mobile test sites with Community Collect and to keep our communities as safe as possible with a comprehensive testing programme that meets local needs.
“Getting regular rapid tests is very important for people who do not have Covid-19 symptoms – especially if you’re going out for work, or you live with school, college or nursery staff or pupils. As restrictions continue to ease, we must take the necessary precautions to protect ourselves and others.”
In addition to this, residents should note that anyone who tests positive from a lateral flow test must now book a follow-up confirmatory PCR test through Gov.uk. This is a precautionary measure that the government has re-introduced, and you will be contacted by SMS or email.
“We need to do everything we can to keep cases down” said Matt Pope. “If you do test positive from your lateral flow test, you will need to self-isolate immediately and only leave home for your follow-up test and while you wait for the result. This step is very important and will help us to stop the spread of Covid-19 in our communities.
“If your PCR test comes back as positive, our team will be in touch to find out what support you might need while self-isolating. From food shopping, to walking the dog; we are on hand to organise any help required. If you are unable to go to work, you can also access financial support via a one-off payment – visit our website and search ‘Test and Trace Support Payments’ for more information.”
Find out more about rapid testing by visiting the council’s website: https://www.wokingham.gov.uk/health/public-health-campaigns/lateral-flow-testing/