The Wokingham Paper

Moonshoot testing on the horizon for Wokingham borough

The borough will soon have access to new tests, says Cllr Charles Margetts. Picture: HVesna via Pixabay

THE PRIME minister’s moonshot testing plan will soon be available to borough residents, with rapid, 15-minute testing kits arriving within weeks.

Cllr Charles Margetts, the health executive at Wokingham Borough Council confirmed that the borough will soon have access to new tests to support residents.

The quick-result tests rely on patients to have a higher viral load, compared to swab kits which can detect the virus in those asymptomatic.

Due to this, the council must decide who to prioritise, and set up the logistical side.

He praised the local public health teams for working together and setting up a new online dashboard to monitor the spread of Covid-19 in Berkshire.

“From what I understand, Berkshire was the first county in the UK to provide that level of information,” he said. “It’s important for people to have an accurate, reliable source of information, rather than following the spread of coronavirus on social media forums.”

He said that Wokingham’s track and trace facility was showing a 90% return, but urged people to follow the self-isolating guidance.

“We must follow the chain of transmission,” he warned. “If someone you’ve been in contact with has tested positive for the virus, you must also self-isolate, and get tested.”

He praised the local work to manage Covid-19, including the Public Protection Partnership helping to advice businesses on the latest guidance, the schools taskforce, which is supporting head teachers to manage the virus in their classrooms, and the community champions — otherwise known as covid marshalls — helping people to understand the restrictions.

Cllr Margetts also noted the outbreak in Shinfield would affect the borough’s infection rate statistics, and said that wider community transmission was “static” and would decline as “lockdown kicked-in”.

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