Mass rapid testing for residents, even if they do not have covid symptoms, is rolling out from Wednesday (13 January) the council has announced.
A new rapid testing centre is being set up at The Centre, Farnham Road offering testing to any resident who does not have symptoms – with results within about 30 minutes.
There will also be local mobile rapid test centres across the borough in community centres, places of worship and other venues so residents can access testing near home.
The main rapid testing hub at The Centre will be open from 10am to 6pm Tuesdays to Saturdays until 20 February.
Anyone wanting a test is encouraged to make an appointment, but residents can also drop in, though there may be a longer wait so please leave enough time. Each appointment is for 30 minutes.
More information and appointments can be found here: www.slough.gov.uk/coronavirus/mass-rapid-testing
Face coverings will be required inside and outside the testing hub – other than when the test is taking place or if someone is medically exempt.
There are no seating or toilet facilities available at the testing centres. Residents are warned there may be queues so to dress warmly and bring a flask of tea or bottle of water.
People with symptoms are required to go to the main traditional testing site at Montem which is bookable through the national system www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119.
Councillor Natasa Pantelic, lead member for health and wellbeing, said: “Bringing this mass community testing to Slough has been a major project but now we are ready to start.
“Now testing can be offered to those without symptoms – identifying the one in three of us who may have covid but no outward sign so if you don’t have symptoms, but want to know if you have covid, now you have the chance.
“A negative test isn’t a ‘get out of jail free card’ unfortunately, but, as with the positive results, the right knowledge is key – meaning people can take the right steps to protect their families and communities.”
The rapid tests – also known as lateral flow tests – are used to test people with no symptoms, who, despite showing no outside cough or temperature may still be infectious and spreading the virus to others.
The other local testing centres and mobile sites will be coming on stream from 18 January.