09:00AM, Thursday 25 February 2021
Workers in public-facing roles are being urged to get coronavirus tests to help reduce the number of non-symptomatic carriers out in public.
Earlier this month, two rapid COVID-19 test centres opened at Braywick Leisure Centre and Windsor Leisure Centre, conducting lateral flow tests which take as little as 15 minutes to complete.
Despite having a maximum capacity of around 17,000 tests per week, in the first two weeks of operation less than 3,000 tests have been completed.
The Royal Borough has urged people who are not able to work from home to get tested up to twice a week so they know they are not bringing the virus to work and putting the public at risk, and has created a series of videos explaining how simple the testing process it.
David Scott, Royal Borough head of communities, who is leading the project in the borough, speculated why the turnout was lower than expected.
He said: “People may not be aware – do people realise that this free testing is available and that by getting tested twice a week they will be helping to break this chain of transmission?
“For some people, there’s possibly a fear factor, they don’t want to do a test because they may have heard all sorts of stories, but the feedback has been really positive, most people are in and out in 15 minutes.
“Unfortunately there may be some people that are worried they will have to go into isolation if they get a positive test.”
The purpose of the centres is to identify asymptomatic carriers of the virus in Windsor and Maidenhead, who make up about one third of cases in the borough.
Anyone who is not working from home and does not have any coronavirus symptoms is being urged by the council to get tested regularly.
If you test positive and have to self-isolate, you can now apply for a £500 grant from the Government if your employer will not pay you over the 10-day period.
To book a test at either of the centres, visit www.rbwm.gov.uk/home/council-and-democracy/contact-us/coronavirus-information-and-support/covid-19-community-testing
If you have COVID-19 symptoms, call 119 or visit www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test
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