Thames Valley Park will be home to Wokingham Borough Council’s second rapid testing centre from this week; enabling even more keyworkers to access regular lateral flow tests.
This follows the successful launch of rapid testing at the council’s Shute End office, which has had nearly 900 bookings in the last three weeks, and a further 1,600+ scheduled using the advance booking facility.
Open to those living or working in the borough
The site will operate from the Microsoft Campus and will be open to keyworkers who live or work in Wokingham Borough, and who are regularly leaving home to go to work. The definition of keyworkers is wider than previously used by the Government and includes delivery workers, pre-school staff, those working in supermarkets and others – visit the council’s website for a full list.
Anyone who meets this criteria, and is not being tested through any other national scheme, can book a test slot using the electronic booking system for the Microsoft Campus, or the electronic booking system for the council’s Shute End testing centre.
Restricting the spread of Covid-19
Cllr Charles Margetts, executive member for health, wellbeing and adult services said: “Throughout the pandemic, our aim has always been to restrict the spread of Covid-19 as much as possible; and regular rapid testing can help with this.
"We are delighted to be opening another rapid test centre and are extremely grateful to the team at Microsoft for providing the building. It is situated in a prime location on the Wokingham and Reading border and is easily accessible with plenty of free parking.”
Open six days a week
The service will operate a six-day week with sufficient capacity and bookings should be made at a minimum of 48 hours in advance. Clear signage is in place to direct visitors to the right entrance and exit points, and WBC employees will be on site to check people in.
The initial agreement is in place until the end of March, and this will be reviewed nearer the time, depending on capacity and demand.
Opening times at both test centres are 9am – 4pm on Mondays (last test at 3.45pm) and 8am – 4pm on Tuesdays – Saturdays (last test at 3.45pm). The council will be extending opening hours to 8am – 8pm (last test at 7.45pm) twice a week at the Microsoft test centre and information on this will be available very soon.
Always visit the council’s website for the most up-to-date information about both test centres.
Keyworker? Get tested!
Clare Barclay, UK CEO at Microsoft says: "We are proud to be providing our office facilities for the Covid-19 testing program, supporting our local community and the incredible work of the NHS."
“We are urging any keyworkers who live or work in the borough, and who are regularly leaving their home to go to work, to come forward for testing. This really can make a difference in the fight against Covid-19”, says Cllr Margetts.
“The tests only take 15 minutes, and they are crucial for identifying people who have coronavirus but are asymptomatic and could be spreading it without realising. There is financial support available to anyone who may lose income as a result of having to self-isolate. You can find out more information about this on our website.”