We are pleased to report that Covid-19 cases are continuing to fall in Wokingham Borough. The current weekly rate per 100,000 people is 206.9 (up to 28 January). Everyone’s commitment to sticking to the rules and only leaving home for essential reasons has helped to bring infection rates down.
We do still have a long way to go to get to the rates that we were at last Autumn, but it is promising to see the data heading in the right direction. Don’t forget that you can access all of the latest Covid-19 statistics for Wokingham Borough and our neighbouring local authorities on the Berkshire Public Health website.
We have opened our second lateral flow test centre at the Microsoft Campus in Thames Valley Park, following the successful launch of rapid testing at our Shute End office. This means even more keyworkers can get tested on a regular basis.
Both centres are open to keyworkers who live or work in Wokingham Borough, and who are regularly leaving home to go to work (because they are unable to work from home). 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.
Read more about our new test centre on our website, and visit our lateral flow test webpage for the full list of keyworkers who are eligible, and further information. Lateral flow testing is for people with no symptoms; if you have any symptoms of coronavirus you must get a PCR test, which you can book through the national website.
At the start of the pandemic, we worked with our partners to set-up Wokingham Borough Community Response’s One Front Door service; providing free advice to residents and linking people up with charities and services that can help.
The One Front Door offer access to mental health support as well as other help. Find out more about this by watching our brand-new video.
If anybody in your community needs support of any kind – welfare benefits, debt, housing, employment, support for your mental health, domestic violence, or just someone to have a chat with if you are lonely – contact the team on 0300 330 1189 or visit the website.
Last year, we set up our Adult Social Care Covid-19 Taskforce; made up of Wokingham Borough Council employees who work closely with our external partners across the health and social care sector.
Since then, the team have been providing vital support to our care homes and their residents across the Wokingham Borough, ensuring they stay as safe as possible. In November, the team were faced with a huge task to navigate; a significant outbreak of Covid-19 at Shinfield View care home.
We wanted to share some of the feedback we received about their efforts, to celebrate the work of our Adult Social Care Covid-19 Taskforce during what was truly a challenging time. You can find out more by reading the full case study on our website.
No one knows your community better than you, and we need your help to raise awareness and understanding of the 2021 census within your communities. The once-in-a-decade census is happening in March and will provide us with important insights into the impact of the pandemic on our society.
Households across Wokingham Borough will be asked to take part in the nationwide survey of housing and the population. This year the census will be digital first, which means it can be completed online using any device.
From the first week in March all households will receive a letter with a unique access code in the post, allowing them to complete their questionnaire online. Online help will be available, and paper questionnaires will be available on request.
For more information and lots of downloadable resources to help promote the value of the 2021 census, please visit census.gov.uk
Thank you for joining us
We’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who joined us on Monday night for our first Covid Community Information Champion session – we hope you found it useful. If you weren’t able to attend, you can view the recording of the meeting on our YouTube channel.
We have also done a write-up of the Q+A session, which is also attached.
Please share any feedback you have about the event using our online form so we can use it to help shape future meetings.
Don’t forget that you can access all of the latest Covid-19 statistics for Wokingham Borough and the rest of Berkshire on the Berkshire Public Health website.
We want to hear from you!
We are using our virtual meetings and weekly emails to provide you with accurate information about Covid-19, that you can use to disseminate to your communities.
It doesn’t matter if you’re telling your friends, family, neighbours, or a large community group; please share it in whatever way suits you.
In return, we’d like you to give us information and intelligence on what’s happening in your local areas.
Maybe social distancing measures aren’t being followed, you’re concerned about a certain premises, or you don’t think our messaging is hitting the mark.
You can submit this and any other feedback through our online form.
We also want to find out more about who you are, and how we can work together to reach key communities in the borough.
Please complete our short survey to help us understand your demographic, where you’re based, and your potential sphere of influence.
Help is here if you need it
We want to remind our residents that support is available for anyone who is struggling right now; whether that’s physically, mentally, financially, and so on.
The Wokingham Borough Community Response (WBCR) was launched at the start of the pandemic and continues to support you if you need extra help at this time.
One Front Door, led by Citizens Advice Wokingham, is the fastest way to get the help you need as it works closely with us and a range of local voluntary organisations.
Contact the team 24/7 via the website, or call on 0300 330 1189, Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, and Saturday 9am to 1pm.
Alongside this, we recognise this is a very challenging time for businesses of all sizes. We are continuing to support our local economy where we can and there are a number of grants available to those who need financial support. Please visit our website for more information.
Check out our Self-isolation Support Pack
Do you know the different between ‘staying at home’ and ‘self-isolating?’. If you’re asked to self-isolate, you should not leave your home at all. We know this might feel tough, but it’s important as you could be spreading the virus and putting others at risk, even if you have no symptoms, or you feel absolutely fine.
We’ve put together a handy Self-isolation Support Pack (PDF document) with all the information you need on self-isolating, plus ideas on how you can maximise your time at home.
Please share this with anyone who might find it useful.
Please note, we are offering one-off support payments of £500 to those who cannot work from home while self-isolating and will therefore face loss of income. Find out more about these, and details on how to apply, on our website.
Expanding our Lateral Flow Testing pilot
Around one in three people who have coronavirus have no symptoms and will be spreading it without realising it.
To help break the chain of transmission, we are expanding the Lateral Flow Testing (LFT) pilot at our Shute End office to include all critical and keyworkers who are required to leave home for work or a crucial activity.
Professionals who are regularly leaving their home to go to work are advised to book in for a Lateral Flow Test twice a week at the Council’s Shute End office; while those who go to work less frequently are asked to get tested once a week; ideally on the same day that they are due to go to work.
Read more information, and find out how to book in for a test if you are a keyworker, on our website.