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Community testing to start in Bracknell

Coronavirus contact tracing

Bracknell Forest residents who are most at risk of catching and spreading COVID-19 without knowing it will be invited to start asymptomatic testing twice a week from the end of January.

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

Widening community testing to those showing no symptoms (called ‘asymptomatic’), will help find people who are infected and infectious but unaware they might be spreading the virus. This can help to break the chain of transmission.

In Bracknell Forest, community testing will be offered to critical and key workers who are not already being offered testing and anyone who is required to leave home for work or a crucial activity, or for the management of local COVID-19 outbreaks. These people are currently being identified by the council and will be contacted directly ahead of regular testing, which is due to start at the end of January.

Breaking the COVID-19 chain is so important to stop the virus from spreading and we urge all eligible Bracknell Forest residents and workers to have the test, once contacted.

The test used is called a Lateral Flow Test (LFT) and it delivers the results within around 30 mins. If tested positive, it is imperative that you and your close contacts isolate at home immediately. You must not go to work, school, or public areas and must not use public transport or taxis.

In addition, if you receive a positive LFT result, you must arrange to have a standard PCR test for COVID-19. Stay at home while you are waiting for a home test kit, a test site appointment or a test result. Only leave your home to get to your test if you need to, observe strict social distancing advice and return immediately afterwards.

Cllr Paul Bettison OBE, Leader of Bracknell Forest and Chairman of the Local Outbreak Engagement Board, said:

“We are in the process of arranging the people and equipment to be able to offer these lateral flow tests as soon as possible. Our number one priority is to keep you as safe and well as possible and bring down our case rates. Please bear with us while we finalise our quality and safety checks before inviting people forward for testing.

“If you are invited to take part in the community testing, please do come forward and get your twice weekly tests. By regularly testing those who are at greatest risk of having and spreading the virus without knowing it, we are reducing the risk of transmission and helping to safeguard our loved ones and borough from the virus.”

For more information visit the Berkshire Public Health website.