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Surge testing to start in Bracknell Forest

PCR lab machine

Surge testing will start in the GU47 0 postcode area of Bracknell Forest from Wednesday, 16 June, to help try and reduce the spread of the Delta variant.

The surge testing will also apply to staff and pupils at all the borough’s secondary schools as well as staff at all primary schools. Primary school children do not need to take part unless they attend Binfield CE Primary School where case numbers have been rising.

The council is urging residents over the age of 11 (children in year 7) who are living or working in the GU47 0 postcode area to come forward for a COVID-19 PCR test from 16 June, provided they are not showing symptoms. This includes people who have had the vaccine as well as those who are doing regular lateral flow testing. If you have had a positive PCR test in the past 90 days, you do not need to come forward for testing.

The GU47 0 postcode was prioritised for surge testing based on high infection rate but low vaccine uptake. Low vaccine coverage further increases the risk of transmission and serious disease.

How to get a test

Residents in GU47 0

Residents can get a COVID-19 test at one of the surge test sites. There is no need to book and all the information you need is on our surge testing page. 

Schools in Bracknell Forest

Schools across Bracknell Forest will be contacted by the council to arrange delivery of testing kits for pupils and staff

Businesses in GU47 0

Businesses will be contacted by the council to arrange delivery of testing kits for staff

If you have coronavirus symptoms or have had a positive lateral flow test you should continue to book a test on GOV.UK, through the NHS COVID-19 app or by calling 119.

To help protect residents from COVID-19, the local NHS is offering a pop-up vaccination service for first doses, to those who are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. You must be a resident or work within GU47 0 postcodes so please bring some form of ID. More information on the dates and locations will soon be available on our surge testing page. Those who have not yet had their second dose are urged to attend their appointments to gain maximum protection.

Testing will help to suppress and control the spread of the virus and new variants. This is in combination with measures such as:

  • hands-face-space and fresh air
  • following national guidance
  • regular twice weekly rapid testing
  • self-isolating when required
  • getting vaccinated when eligible

Support is available for those having to self-isolate, or who are clinically extremely vulnerable. Details of the support available is on our support for residents pages

Charlotte Pavitt, Consultant in Public Health for Bracknell Forest Council, said:

“We have been monitoring the situation very closely and now need residents in these areas to come forward for a test. You should do this even if you’ve had the COVID-19 vaccine as you can still catch and spread the virus. Infection rates are rising across the borough and this variant is much more transmissible. The more cases we find, the better chance we have at suppressing it.

“Please help to keep your community and loved ones safe by getting tested. You should also continue to follow the guidance that is in place – limit your number of contacts, wash your hands regularly and thoroughly, keep your distance and cover your face. If you test positive by any method, you must isolate to stop the spread of the virus. If you have been in close contact with someone who tests positive you must also self-isolate.”

Dr Rohail Malik, PNC CD and Practice Partner said:

“We know that there is an increase in the number of coronavirus cases in our local community. To make it as easy as possible for those eligible to get their COVID-19 vaccination we are setting up a walk-in vaccination service.

“Millions of people are already benefiting from protection from the virus by taking two doses of the vaccine and we have seen this contribute to dramatic falls in infections, hospitalisations and deaths.

“I would personally like to encourage those who live and work in the GU47 0 postcode area, who are eligible and haven’t had their first dose of the vaccine, to please just walk-in and get their Pfizer jab.”

Positive tests with a high enough viral load will be sequenced to identify any further spread, enabling a better understanding of the variant and identifying if there are any more cases of this particular strand of the virus in the area. If someone tests positive, they must self-isolate immediately and pass on details of their contacts to NHS Test and Trace.

The same national guidance continues to apply in areas where new variants have been identified and education settings can remain open. Twice weekly rapid testing should continue in educational settings and adults who do not have symptoms should continue to access regular, rapid COVID-19 tests.