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Update from council leader - 9 June

Time Square with blue sky

Cllr Paul Bettison, OBE, Leader of Bracknell Forest Council, said:

I hope that residents had a relaxing and enjoyable half-term last week and were able to make the most of the warmer weather.

As some residents may be aware, Public Health England (PHE) has identified a number of cases of the Delta variant (VOC 21-APR-02 (first detected in India) in people associated with Binfield CE Primary, The Brakenhale School, Great Hollands Primary, Garth Hill College, Sandhurst School and Whitegrove Primary. All schools have taken immediate action and have been working with PHE to notify all relevant contacts.

The Delta variant is now the most dominant locally and we are aware that a number of cases in the borough have been spread through community transmission rather than through a contained outbreak.

As our case numbers of this variant are rising quite steadily, we are in discussion with Public Health England and the Government around the possibility of surge testing parts of the borough to help reduce the spread. A decision on this should be made in the next couple of days and, if agreed, it would take us a few more days to arrange it safely and efficiently. Please do keep an eye on our website and our social media channels for updates on this.

You may also be aware that surge testing is already being offered in the RG1 3, RG1 5, RG1 6 and RG1 7 postcodes in Reading and in the Bulmershe and Whitegates, Evendons, Norreys, and Wescott areas of Wokingham. If you work in any of these areas you are strongly encouraged to take a COVID-19 PCR test, whether you are showing symptoms or not. You can find out more on the Wokingham Borough Council website and on the Reading Borough Council website.

The best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from the risk of catching COVID-19 is to keep following the rules, which our residents have been following diligently since the pandemic started.

Please remember to:

  • stay at least 2 metres (3 steps) away from people you're not meeting with – you can choose to have close contact with friends and family, see advice about meeting friends and family safely on GOV.UK
  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • wash your hands as soon as you get home
  • let fresh air into your home by opening windows, doors and air vents as much as possible
  • wear a face covering where necessary

Don’t forget to book in your vaccination if you are eligible and make sure you go for your second dose – vaccination is one of the best lines of defence against becoming seriously ill from COVID-19.

Stay safe and have a good week.