Surge testing starts in Bracknell Forest

Surge testing will start in the GU47 0 postcode area of Bracknell Forest today (Wednesday 16 June), to help try and reduce the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant locally.

The council is urging residents over the age of 11 (year 7) who are living or working in the GU47 0 postcode area to come forward for a COVID-19 PCR test between 16 and 30 June, provided they are not showing symptoms.

An interactive map is available to find out if your address is included.

This will allow us to identify cases, advise self-isolation when necessary and contain the spread. 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 surge testing will also apply to staff and pupils at all the borough’s secondary schools and colleges, 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 there has been a number of cases.

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.

Testing sites will be open from 16 to 30 June at:

  • Pyes Acre car park (8am to 2pm and 3pm to 8pm)
  • Sandhurst Memorial Hall car park (8am to 2pm and 3pm to 8pm)
  • Owlsmoor Community Centre car park (8am to 8pm)
  • Bracknell Leisure Centre (2pm to 8pm)
  • Morgan Recreation Ground car park (8am to 8pm on 16 to 17 June, 19 June, 21 to 24 June, 26 June, 28 to 30 June)

Please walk to a site where possible as parking will be limited. Remember there may well be queues, so please wear weather appropriate clothing and bring water and a face covering.

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

Testing will, in combination with measures such as hands-face-space and fresh air, following national guidance, regular twice weekly rapid testing, self-isolating when required and getting vaccinated when eligible, help to suppress and control the spread of the virus and new variants.

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

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 on 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. Adults who do not have symptoms should continue to access regular, rapid COVID-19 tests.

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

“We are urging residents in the GU47 0 area 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. Testing will help us identify anyone with COVID-19, advise self-isolation and contain the spread. This testing, together with the uptake of both doses of the vaccine, will help to protect the community and your loved ones.

“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.”