Surge testing expected in Slough as borough battles rise in COVID-19 cases

SLOUGH 133327-7

Surge testing is expected to be rolled out in Slough imminently as the borough attempts to keep track of cases of the Delta coronavirus variant.

The COVID-19 strain, first detected in India, is now the most common mutation of the virus in Berkshire.

Additional testing has already been deployed elsewhere in the county, including Reading and Wokingham, to detect unidentified cases of the virus in the community.

Slough Borough Council confirmed at its outbreak engagement board meeting yesterday it is now finalising plans for additional testing in the town.

Communications manager Kate Pratt told the meeting: “We are expecting to join Wokingham, Reading and Bracknell in doing surge testing for specific postcodes in Slough.

“Those plans are being finalised and will be required to go to Government for sign-off.”

The council is expecting to use a ‘hybrid model’ which could see door-to-door tests carried out with more mobile testing units also made available.

The latest figures from Public Health Berkshire show Slough recorded 117 coronavirus cases from Monday, May 31 to Sunday, June 6.

This was up from 106 cases recorded the previous seven days, an increase of 10.3 per cent.

Public health consultant Sue Foley told Wednesday’s meeting that the rise in cases was ‘concerning’ and was mainly being fuelled in schools.

She said: “We are keeping a close eye on things and making sure in schools we’re doing all we can to squash COVID-19.

“I know schools have done a fabulous job in trying to keep the cases down and are doing all they can but quite a lot of cases are in schools."

The borough’s weekly rate of confirmed cases stands at 72.2 per 100,000 people.

This compared to an average of 31.7 cases per 100,000 in the South East and 47.7 cases per 100,000 nationally.

The latest NHS figures for hospitalisations in the region show five coronavirus patients were being cared for by the Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust as of June 1.

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