West Berkshire Council will be distributing lateral flow device testing home kits across its district from Monday 12 April.
Community Collect is a government programme which makes lateral flow device testing home kits available to families and households with children and young people at Primary or Secondary School, or College, including childcare and support bubbles. Lateral flow device testing helps with the process of finding more COVID-19 cases and breaks the chain of transmission.
West Berkshire Mobile Community Collect will be in operation from Monday to Friday, with a different specified route around the district each day. The routes and timetable can be found on the council’s lateral flow testing webpage.
The Government has recently announced that everyone in England should have access to twice weekly lateral flow device testing from Friday 9 April. People will be encouraged to have regular testing, so that more positive cases within households are found and prevented from entering workplaces, schools and colleges so that as a society we are able to make a step towards a more normal way of life.
Around one in three people have COVID-19 without showing symptoms and lateral flow device testing helps finds cases quickly – in under 30 minutes – meaning positive cases can isolate straight away. This can be the difference between children being able to stay in school, or a class being sent home due to an outbreak.
Cllr Graham Bridgman, Executive Member for Health and Wellbeing at West Berkshire Council, said:
“West Berkshire Council is making every effort to make lateral flow device testing accessible to residents across the district.
“We urge residents to undertake regular testing, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keep children and young people safe.”
Speaking about Community Collect, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock MP, said:
“Regular testing of households and childcare support bubbles of primary and secondary school children is another tool we are making available to help keep schools safe. We know that one in three people with COVID-19 don’t have any symptoms, so targeted, regular testing will mean more positive cases are kept out of schools and colleges.
“As we continue to roll out the vaccine, testing offers us a way forward. Sustained and repeated testing for people without symptoms has a critical role to play as sections of society are reopened by driving down transmission rates.
“By everyone playing their part and getting tested regularly, vital public services, workplaces and educational settings can stay open and running, and we can move closer to a more normal way of life.”
Professor Yvonne Doyle, Medical Director at Public Health England, said:
“These rapid tests help uncover hidden cases of the virus and break chains of transmission, stopping outbreaks before they occur.
“Combined with other protective measures, they are a vital tool to help us lower infection rates and ensure that they stay low.
“I would encourage all eligible households to take up the offer of twice weekly rapid testing – it’s quick and painless and could help save lives.”
All families and households with Primary, Secondary and College aged children and young people are encouraged to undertake lateral flow device testing at home twice a week and report their results to https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result, or call 119, 7am to 11pm (lines open every day).