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Wokingham Borough Council increases list of key workers for lateral Covid 19 tests

covid 19

Testing for keyworkers

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 that they might be spreading the virus.

During lockdown, Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) is offering community testing to keyworkers who are regularly leaving their home for work, or for the management of local Covid-19 outbreaks.

The test used is called a Lateral Flow Test and it delivers the results within around 30 mins. WBC is inviting keyworkers forward for testing at our Shute End or Microsoft Campus test centres. This includes workers in the following settings:     

  • Blue light services, including the Police and Fire Service (in interim prior to national scheme)    
  • Council services, including contractors, who cannot work from home and are regularly leaving their home to go to work  
  • Health and Care services including voluntary sector (outside national schemes)    
  • Undertakers and mortuary staff (outside the national scheme)  
  • Early years (staff in private, voluntary and independent nurseries, childminders, children’s social care workers, and frontline staff and volunteers in children and young people charities)    
  • Special needs services   
  • Essential retail (such as supermarket staff)   
  • Public and community transport    
  • Delivery services, including postal workers and couriers  
  • Essential manufacturing and distribution  
  • Public facing essential voluntary workers    
  • Security and grounds people   
  • Trades and utilities (including BT, Water Authorities, Highways)  
  • Click and collect venues
  • Communal living establishments (e.g. Asylum Seekers housed in hotels or similar, hostels, YMCA)
  • Testing staff at sites
  • Construction
  • Religious staff (including clergy and all essential staff required to enable places of worship to function, where their job cannot be done at home)
  • Veterinary staff
  • Informal carers and support workers   
           

Opening times at both test centres are 9am – 4pm on Mondays (last test at 3.45pm) and 8am – 4pm on Tuesdays – Saturdays (last test at 3.45pm). From Tuesday 9 February we are extending opening hours to 8am – 8pm (last test at 7.45pm) on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Microsoft test centre. 

I’m a keyworker, how do I get tested?

If you are regularly leaving your home to go to work, and are not being tested through any other national scheme, you are invited to book a test slot at a minimum of 48 hours in advance:  

Book a test at Shute End

Book a test at the Microsoft Campus

You will need to fill in your details for every single booking you make, so it is advised that you use Google Chrome for this as it will autofill previous data.

You should get tested twice a week – please book as far in advance as possible so we can look at capacity and demand. If you are leaving your home to go to work less frequently, you should get tested once a week, ideally on the same day that you are due to go to work. 

Please note, you will be asked to clarify which department/organisation you work for when booking, and will need to bring ID with you to the testing centre.

What happens if I test positive?

The number one priority is to keep residents as safe and well as possible and bring down our case rates. Therefore, if your test is positive, it is imperative that you and your contacts isolate at home (for 10 days from the date of the test), away from friends and family, and don’t leave your home unless for essential reasons, such as medical care or to escape harm. 

For support on emergency food deliveries or other emergency support such as paying heating bills, call the One Front Door on  0300 330 1189, or  visit the Citizens Advice website.

If you need to self-isolate, you might be entitled to a payment of £500 if you are unable to work from home, losing income, or facing financial hardship as a result of not being able to work. Find out more by  visiting our dedicated Test and Trace support payment webpage

What happens if I test negative?

If you test negative, you can continue to go to work, however you should follow social distancing guidance and the rules under the current Covid-19 restrictions.

Please note, a negative Lateral Flow Test result does not give you immunity and should not be used as an excuse to bend the rules under current Covid-19 restrictions. This is very important as you could put others at severe risk. You should continue to stay at home and only leave your house for work (if you cannot work from home and have not tested positive for Covid-19), and for other essential reasons. 

Can I get a Lateral Flow Test if I have Covid-19 symptoms?

Lateral Flow Tests should not be used as a diagnostic tool and should only be used to test asymptomatic people. If you have Covid-19 symptoms, you must not visit an Lateral Flow Test site, and should  book a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test through the Gov.uk website

Will you be testing the wider community?

Further community-based test sites are being developed in line with national guidance and the requirements for wider community testing. Over time, and as we come out of lockdown, WBC will seek to develop its offering and continue to take a targeted approach to testing. We will keep our residents informed about this as and when it is necessary.

How does a Lateral Flow Test work?

You can read the full details on the extended pilot, how these tests work and how they are different from the PCR tests used to diagnose people with symptoms, in WBC’s  Lateral Flow Testing for keyworkers Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) (PDF document).

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