Wokingham Borough Council increases list of key workers for lateral Covid 19 tests
Published on: 9 February, 2021
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
Religious staff (including clergy and all essential staff required to enable places of worship to function, where their job cannot be done at home)
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:
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.
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?
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.
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