Slough Borough Council will be launching covid surge testing on 16 June following an increase in cases in the town.
The special testing arrangements, approved by government today (11 June), will offer free covid PCR testing to all residents in three main postcode areas of the town:
- SL1 3
- SL2 1
- SL2 5
as well as targeting businesses in the areas and all schools and colleges across the town.
Residents in the target areas can expect to have special teams knocking on their doors to explain the surge testing from next Wednesday (16 June) and offering a series of ways to do the PCR tests:
- at home
- at local mobile testing units
- with assistance if required
Business will also have tests dropped off for them which they can return to mobile testing unit – or, depending on the size of the business a specific mobile testing unit will be arranged.
All schools across the town will have tests delivered with secondary schools asked to test all staff and pupils and primary schools asked to test all staff only; with schools with outbreaks offered a specific mobile testing unit.
The mobile testing sites are expected to be at:
- The Centre, Farnham Road
- JMIC, Stoke Poges Lane
- Sri Guru Singh Sabha, Sheehy Way
- Ramgarhia Sikh Gurdwara, Woodland Avenue
Exact dates and times are still to be confirmed.
Residents in the target areas will also get a postcard through their doors informing them of the surge testing and that council teams will be visiting. It also gives advice on the safety of the visits with teams having strong ID, specific lanyards and being in pairs.
Sue Foley, Slough Borough Council’s consultant in public health, said: “Residents in the target areas do not need to do anything differently right now – just be aware we will be visiting soon, knocking on the door to have a chat about the testing.
“No one in the area needs to order testing kits as we be providing everything they need and offering specific assistance to anyone who needs it.
“Slough’s current case rates are not as high as other areas, but we want to make sure it stays that way in the face of this new Delta variant and our residents are well tested, well informed and well protected.”
Slough’s current rate per 100,000 of population across all ages is 73.6 but is substantially higher among the school-age population at 182 for 11-16 year olds, 142 for 17 and 18 year olds and 109 in five-10 year olds.
The Delta variant is now dominant in the town.
Residents across the borough are encouraged to get their vaccinations as soon as possible – booking first doses or bringing forward second doses if possible.
Councillor Natasa Pantelic, lead member for social care and public health, said: “Having a vaccine is the best way to protect yourself from the, potentially, serious consequences of catching coronavirus.
“It is obvious from what we are seeing in other parts of the country, the vaccine is protecting people from the Delta variant, meaning if they catch the coronavirus, they are far less likely to require hospitalisation.
"I encourage everyone to get their vaccine as soon as possible and I am delighted our local health colleagues are beginning to provide drop in vaccination sessions where local people don’t need an appointment.”
The first drop-in vaccination session is taking place at Salt Hill Park vaccination centre on Saturday 12 June from 9am to 8pm with both AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines available.
As there are no appointment times, residents are advised to bring a drink and be prepared to wait.