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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): Covid Tests taken at Newbury Showground

Friday 15 October 2021

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): Covid Tests taken at Newbury Showground

 

This FAQ document aims to answer questions or concerns that residents may have about recent tests taken at the Newbury Showground testing site. We understand that this may be a worrying time for some of our residents and hope this document will help to clarify the issues and how residents can best respond. The Council apologises for the disruption that this will have caused to local residents and the impact this may have across the District.

 

1.    What was the issue at Newbury Showground?

 

Following recent reports of people receiving negative PCR test results after they have tested positive on a Lateral Flow Device, NHS Test and Trace has investigated and processing of PCR tests has been suspended at a private laboratory in Wolverhampton.

 

Some of these results are from PCR tests taken at the Newbury Showground test site, operated by the Government's UK Health Security Agency (UKSHA).

 

The UK Health Security Agency are working hard to resolve this issue as rapidly as possible. As of October 11th, all samples are now being redirected to other laboratories.  Additional analysis has looked at the routes of travel of samples and of the types of samples, where they come from and who has been infected.

 

There is no evidence of any faults with LFD or PCR test kits themselves, so residents should still feel confident in using them.

 

2.    I received a negative PCR test from Newbury Showground, what should I do?

 

Anyone who has been affected by this lab issue and may still be infectious will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace by this coming Sunday 17th October.

In the meantime, we would also strongly encourage anyone who has had a negative PCR result up to and including 12th October to book a repeat PCR as soon as possible if it is still within 10 days of:

  • Symptoms suggestive of Covid-19; or
  • A positive result from a LFD.

 

You can book a free PCR test at www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or ring 119.

 

People with a positive PCR test result should self-isolate in line with the stay at home guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection

 

 

3.    I have had Covid-19 symptoms over the past week, what should I do?

 

If you are symptomatic with COVID-19 symptoms of a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or you've lost your sense of smell or taste, please self-isolate immediately and book a PCR test at www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or ring 119.

 

4.    I have had a positive LFD and a negative PCR, will I be contacted by NHS Test & Trace?

 

Residents who have been affected by this lab issue and may still be infectious will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace by phone call, email or text message by this coming Sunday 17th October. They will be advised to take another PCR test.

Over the next week, NHS Test and Trace will also contact all those who may have had a negative test over the last 4 weeks to inform them of this incident and to apologise.

 

5.    My child has continued to attend school following their negative PCR, what should I do?

 

Anyone who thinks they have been affected by this issue should arrange to take another PCR test as soon as possible. If your child is still within 10 days of their symptom starting or a positive lateral flow test, we would advise that they self-isolate whilst awaiting results of a new PCR test.

 

6.    How can I financially support myself during self-isolation? 

 

If you will lose income by completing the self-isolation process or staying at home looking after a child who is self-isolating, you can apply for a support payment by visiting: https://www.westberks.gov.uk/article/37510/Apply-for-a-Test-and-Trace-Support-Payment

 

7.    Can you rule out / have you ruled out a new variant accounting for this issue at this time?

 

UKHSA are ruling out any new variant accounting for these reports and the lab incident.

 

8.    How will transmission of COVID-19 be reduced in West Berkshire?

 

NHS Test and Trace has investigated and testing has been suspended at a private laboratory. There are no technical issues with the LFD or PCR test kits themselves and people should continue to test as normal.

 

Other labs are working normally. It is also important to remember that there is sufficient capacity within our laboratory network to accommodate any redistribution of tests to other laboratories. NHS Test and Trace successfully carries out hundreds of thousands of tests every day and, in the overwhelming majority of instances, there are no issues with the process.

 

We also strongly encourage all West Berkshire residents to take Lateral Flow tests (rapid tests) twice per week. Information on how to access lateral flow tests can be found here, with the local Community Testing van schedule available here: https://info.westberks.gov.uk/article/37815/Community-Testing-in-West-Berkshire-Lateral-Flow-Testing

 

One of the most effective ways of reducing transmission, is for anyone with Covid-19 symptoms to self-isolate immediately and to book a PCR test at www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or ring 119.

 

Getting your Covid-19 vaccination is another way to effectively reduce spread of the virus. If you have not yet had your first or second dose or your booster shot (six months after your second dose), please visit the following webpage: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/

 

9.    Who can I speak to for further information?

 

If you have any further questions, please get in touch with our Community Support Hub by calling 01635 503579.

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