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Fifth rapid testing centre opening in Bracknell Forest

COVID test tube in a gloved hand

Following the successful opening of the first 4 rapid testing sites in Bracknell Forest, a new site will open on Monday 22 February at The New Priestwood Community Centre, Bracknell.

The new site will enable even more people, who have to leave home for work or volunteering, to have regular Lateral Flow Testing. This allows people without symptoms to be tested to see if they are carrying the virus and potentially spreading it to others unknowingly.

Around one in three people with COVID-19 have no symptoms. By having regular asymptomatic testing, people are able to help stop the spread of the virus.

Appointments for those who leave home for work or volunteering, can be booked on the rapid testing page or by phoning 01344 352000. In order to manage the capacity at these sites, we urge eligible people to book an appointment in advance. If you arrive without a pre-booked appointment, you may be asked to wait at a safe distance until there is availability.

The 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 close contacts isolate at home immediately. You must not go to work, school, or public areas and must not use public transport or taxis.  There is support available for those who have to self-isolate.

Other sites already offering rapid testing are at:

  • Sandhurst Memorial Hall, Sandhurst
  • Great Hollands Pavilion, Bracknell
  • Brownlow Hall, Warfield
  • The Morgan Centre, Crowthorne

We are undertaking a programme to open further sites over the coming weeks to enable us to increase capacity and offer this testing to even more residents. Testing will be done twice a week with a 3 to 4 day gap between tests. These appointments can be arranged to fit around shift patterns. Details of opening times at all sites can be found on the rapid testing page.

Sue Fletcher, a childminder from Bracknell has been getting tested, she said:

“The community testing centre at Brownlow Hall is amazing. All the staff and volunteers are totally on the ball, it’s well run and I’m in and out within minutes.

"I was slightly apprehensive attending but as a childminder I know I have to keep on top of whether I am positive with no symptoms to keep myself and my family, as well as the children I care for and their families safe, and therefore the wider community.

"I have no worries anymore and both my husband and daughter, who work with me, also get tested. I would recommend these centres to all who are attending work settings.”

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

“The testing sites are a valuable asset in the fight against coronavirus. Identifying those who are unknowingly spreading the virus is helping to keep our residents safer. The tests are quick and simple and give the peace of mind that when going out to work you are not going to be putting any of your colleagues, customers or loved ones at risk.

“We urge everyone who has to leave home for work or volunteering, whether that is caring for a vulnerable person, providing childcare as part of a childcare bubble or delivering the goods that our community needs, to please get these regular tests so you can rest assured that you are not the one spreading the virus.”

If residents believe they are eligible for community testing, they can visit the rapid testing page for information on how to book an appointment.