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Increase in West Berks Covid cases explained

The number of Covid-19 cases in West Berkshire now stands at 471, according to new data.

The new figures by Public Health England indicate that there have been 385 confirmed cases via Pillar 1 and 86 cases via Pillar 2 with a total number of cases in West Berkshire now at 471 ‘Pillar 1’ data includes people who have tested positive and identified through laboratory testing on hospital and health care workers as well as those with a clinical need, whilst ‘Pillar 2’ data relates to testing done in the wider community. This additional information, which was released on 2nd July, provides a comprehensive overview of the infection rates both nationally and locally as it includes both types of testing. Although the overall figure of 471 is higher than previously announced, West Berkshire Council is offering reassurance to residents that there is not a significant increase in risk to the district and that local services remain well-equipped to meet demand. Commenting on the further data, Howard Wollaston, Executive Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: “We appreciate that this increased figure may be worrying to some in our local community but we would like reassure our residents that infection rates in West Berkshire remain lower than the regional and national average. “We’ve been very proud of everyone in the district and the efforts that have been made to minimise the spread of Covid-19 in the area. There is therefore no need to be alarmed by these figures as they do represent a sudden increase in cases. “Our Local Outbreak Control Plan was published on 30th June and we are confident that we have the local mechanisms in place to cope with any further local outbreak of the virus and will continue to support our community in every way possible. “We would encourage residents to sign up to our e-bulletin to ensure that they will receive timely updates in the event of any change to local arrangements.” Tessa Lindfield, Strategic Director of Public Health for Berkshire, added: “We’re pleased that this Covid-19 data is becoming more available to public health teams in Berkshire and across the country.  We have been working with Public Health England in recent weeks to finalise data sharing arrangements for this new data and now that we have those, we are able to use the data in a positive way to inform our planning purposes as well as to inform the public.”

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