West Berkshire NewsCoronavirus mobile testing site to run in West Berkshire this week


A Coronavirus mobile testing site will be running from the Henwick Worthy Sports Ground in Thatcham for up to three days this week – starting on Friday 8 May.

This is in addition to other local and regional Coronavirus testing sites which are also available across the Thames Valley area.

Anyone who is eligible and wishes to be tested at the Henwick Worthy mobile site must arrange an appointment on the national booking website first. Tests are not available on a ‘drop-in’ basis. You can also book a test at a different site via the national website.

Only certain categories of people are eligible for testing at this time, such as NHS or other essential workers (and some household members), or people over 65 with symptoms. More details of these categories are listed below.

People being tested must bring appropriate ID (like an NHS ID card) or a letter/email from their employer to confirm their key worker status. They should approach the sports ground site as normal, and follow the signs into and out of the testing area, which will be operated by military personnel.

Councillor Rick Jones, Executive Member for Public Health and Community Wellbeing at West Berkshire Council, said: “We welcome the news that a mobile site will be operating in Thatcham for a few days and we urge anyone who falls into the categories given below to book a slot to be tested.

“We are all in this together facing one of the most challenging times of our lives during this pandemic with uncertainty about when it’s safe to return to normal life. Good-quality testing is a big part of how we’re going to defeat this disease and I’m sure people will appreciate how important testing for Covid-19 is at this time.

“It is essential to help keep NHS services running smoothly during this outbreak, and to help vulnerable people stay safe as possible from Coronavirus infection.

“We want to assure residents not be alarmed by the presence of the military at the site who are assisting in carrying out the testing. Residents won’t be able to turn up and expect a test. Booking is mandatory and can be done via the national booking website.

“Mobile sites will offer a great boost to reach testing targets, so we hope they will be well-used by those that need them.”

Tests are being offered to the following categories of people, and, in some cases, members of their household. They are not available for other members of the general public at this time:

  • All essential workers including NHS and social care workers with symptoms (see the full list of essential workers)
  • Anyone over 65 with symptoms
  • Anyone with symptoms whose work cannot be done from home (for example, construction workers, shop workers, emergency plumbers and delivery drivers)
  • Anyone who has symptoms of coronavirus and lives with any of those identified above
  • Social care workers and residents in care homes (with or without symptoms)
  • NHS workers and patients without symptoms, in line with NHS England guidance.

This means anyone in one of these groups can find out whether they have the virus. Testing is most effective within 3 days of symptoms developing.

You can find more details about eligibility for testing here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested.


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