We’re working hard to continue delivering services throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and to support our residents – and in particular those who most need our help.
On our website you will find information about where to find support as well as details of any changes we’ve had to make to services.
You can also keep in touch with us online, and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Test and Trace
You will have heard about Test and Trace, the new tool from the NHS that ensures that anyone who develops symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) can quickly be tested to find out if they have the virus.
It helps trace close recent contacts of anyone who tests positive for coronavirus and, if necessary, notifies them that they must self-isolate at home to help stop the spread of the virus by allowing the NHS to trace the spread and isolate new infections.
It will play a vital role in providing early warning if the virus is increasing again, locally or nationally and is a big step forward to beating coronavirus and returning life to normal.
Here’s a detailed guide on how Test and Trace works and a short video.
Book a coronavirus test or request a home test here.
Watch this short video on how to do a home coronavirus test.
We know that this is a difficult time for everyone and being in isolation is particularly hard. The current situation will leave some of our residents in greater need of support with their daily lives, whether this be help with shopping or a listening ear. If you are one of these residents, our Community Support Hub is here to help.
If you need to get in touch with the Hub, please call us on 01635 503579, email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or you can ask for help from our Community Support Hub service online.
Keep your social distance to stay safe
Everyone’s actions have helped to reduce the transmission of coronavirus in our communities. Fatalities and infection rates continue to fall.
The Government has set out its plan to return life to as near normal as we can, for as many people as we can, but in a way that is safe and continues to protect our NHS. As we move into step two of the plan to rebuild, the most important thing we can continue to do is to stay alert, control the virus, and, in doing so, save lives.
This week has seen us progress to the relaxation of the rules around meeting up with people from other households.
While it is good news that we can see our family and friends, spend time outdoors, including private gardens and other outdoor spaces, in groups of up to six people from different households, we must still follow social distancing guidelines in order to stay safe. The government and its scientific advisors have urged caution at this time and to not push the limits of the new guidelines.
People who are shielding remain vulnerable and should continue to take precautions but can now leave their home if they wish, as long as they are able to maintain strict social distancing.
If you choose to spend time outdoors, this can be with members of your own household. If you live alone, you can spend time outdoors with one person from another household. Ideally, this should be the same person each time.
If you do go out, you should take extra care to minimise contact with others by keeping 2 metres apart. This guidance will be kept under regular review.
Returning to school
Returning to school after a break can be stressful in normal times, but given the current situation, parents had a lot to think about as we started to welcome back additional year groups to the majority of West Berkshire primary schools on this week.
However, it’s a positive development and a step toward returning to normal life.
We, and school leaders are aware that this expansion of pupil numbers needs to be done in a safe and managed way and have been working closely with our schools to make the right decisions about how and when children should return, with some schools opening more widely a little later than others, so that appropriate measures can be put in place.
Decisions on opening arrangements are taken at school level as all schools are different. Some schools have more space than others and not all buildings may be able to cope with the newly identified year groups.
Keep up to date on school openings
Celebrating our Volunteers
It’s National Volunteer Week (1-7 June) and we certainly have a lot to celebrate here in West Berkshire.
We’ve been paying tribute to the thousands of people who have stepped up to support their communities and countless individuals during the current crisis.
We’ve also been highlighting the work of those that give their time day in and day out outside of the crisis, to keep services such as libraries up and running and caring for our most vulnerable residents.
We’re completely bowled over by the selfless acts of West Berkshire’s volunteers and can’t thanks them enough.
See their great work on our Local Heroes page.
Webinar for Businesses
We’re working with town centres across the district of offer advice and support as they gradually start to reopen. We offer a number of support packages to our businesses and as part of this ongoing support, we’ll be hosting a Business Webinar next Wednesday, 10 June at 3pm.
There will be an introduction from our Leader, Lynne Doherty and a presentation from Highways officers outlining the traffic measure we’ll be taking in each town. Our Economic Development Manager will also be outlining any additional support we may be able to make available with the funding that Government has allocated to West Berkshire.
This will be followed by a Q&A session.
If you’re a West Berkshire business and would like to attend the webinar, please email email@example.com