11:58AM, Friday 22 January 2021
New rapid testing sites and a mass vaccination centre launched in Slough this week as the borough’s battle against coronavirus intensified.
The council is hoping the introduction of more lateral flow tests will provide part of the solution to bringing cases down in Slough.
Government figures revealed the borough currently has the second highest COVID-19 infection rate in the country with 1019.1 cases per 100,000 people.
Only Knowsley, a metropolitan borough in Merseyside, North West England, recorded a higher infection rate, 1103.7 per 100,000, in the seven days leading up to January 15.
Rapid testing sites are now up-and-running at The Centre, in Farnham Road, and Langley College Sports Hall, in Langley Road, to try and identify asymptomatic cases.
An aerial shot of the new rapid testing site at The Centre, Farnham Road
Slough Borough Council said nearly 2,000 people made use of the new testing sites this week which included mobile units at The Britwell Centre and The Hindu Temple in Keel Drive.
The Salt Hill Activity Centre, in Salt Hill Way, also started operating as an NHS mass vaccination centre meaning thousands of life-saving jabs could be administered there each week.
The Slough site is one of 10 new venues which officially opened on Monday and is available for people aged 80 and over who live up to a 45-minute drive away.
Councillor Natasa Pantelic, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, told the Express: “It’s disappointing we’re one of the top areas with the highest infection rates in the country because although cases are falling, they’re not falling fast enough. This is why it’s still important for everyone to follow the rules when they have to leave home.
“We’re heading in the right direction but there’s still a long way to go so I hope everyone can work together like we’ve done so many times before to bring cases down.
“The sooner we can do that, the sooner we can get out of lockdown.”
The Cippenham Meadows councillor thanked the borough’s volunteers and community champions who are helping out across all the testing and vaccination sites.
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