Covid: Surge testing in Reading and Wokingham after Delta variant discovered

Surge testing in Bolton
Teams from NHS Test and Trace will be offering tests at the doorstep in Reading and Wokingham. Credit: PA

Surge testing for coronavirus will be carried out in Reading and Wokingham in a bid to contain an outbreak of the Delta variant, which was first identified in India.

Teams from NHS Test and Trace – in partnership with the local authorities – will be visiting houses in several areas, including the RG1 3, RG1 5, RG1 6 and RG1 7 postcodes in Reading and the Bulmershe and Whitegates, Evendons, Norreys, and Wescott areas of Wokingham.

Anyone over 12 will be "strongly encouraged" to take a Covid-19 PCR test - whether they are showing symptoms or not.

A "small number" of Delta infections have been identified so far, the Department for Health and Social Care said, with all cases instructed to self-isolate.

DHSC said "people in this area should continue to make use of free twice-weekly rapid tests, commonly known as lateral flow devices, alongside the PCR test as part of surge testing".

It comes after the Department of Health announced the launch of additional testing and genomic sequencing in Bradford, Canterbury and Maidstone after cases of the Delta variant were identified.

On Thursday, Public Health England announced that the Delta variant is now believed to be dominant in the UK, with cases rising 79% from the previous week.

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