Royal Borough cases, testing and vaccines

Cases continue to rise and are now in the low 700s per 100,000 - on a par with last January. Today's levels are higher than the South East and sadly well above the England averages.

Cases in the Royal Borough are still being seeded across all ages via the school-aged population. Schools are thankfully breaking up for Christmas tomorrow.

71% of people aged 50+ in the borough have now received their three vaccination doses. But 17% of the general population still haven't had both jabs. We're hoping to bring the mobile NHS Vaccine Bus back to the borough early next year, offering first and second jabs.

The UKHSA now publishes weekly data on Fridays, specifically for Omicron cases per local authority, to download as an Excel spreadsheet.

For the latest Covid information in the Royal Borough - including case rates among age groups, ward breakdowns, hospital data and vaccinations - visit the Berkshire Public Health website and see the weekly report in the information centre.
NHS accelerates the booster programme

The NHS and its partners are pulling out all the stops, expanding the vaccination programme to offer everyone eligible a booster in the next two weeks.

Please don’t contact your GP. Your GP or NHS will contact when it's your turn to use the National Booking Service or call 119 to book your jab. If you're having trouble booking online, or getting through on the phone, please be patient and try again later. The NHS has switched to booked-only so that more people can be safely vaccinated in this short window of time.

If you find you no longer need your appointment, please cancel it on the National Booking System or by calling 119, allowing someone else to use your slot.

For more information about vaccines, visit Frimley Health and Care's website.
Having trouble finding lateral flow tests (LFTs)?

Remember, you can also collect them from us.

You now need LFTs to test daily for seven days if you’re a contact of someone with Covid (Delta and Omicron) - even if you’re fully vaccinated.

You’re also strongly advised to take a LFT before going out socially, to busy places, or if you plan to visit a vulnerable friend or family member.

If you test positive, stay home & order a PCR test online. Also use a PCR test if you develop Covid symptoms.
Royal Borough's council services are unaltered.

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement last Sunday, we’re working through its impact with our partners. We’re not currently altering any of our council services.

With the NHS again at Level 4, like them we’re focussed on getting medically stable patients out of hospital back home or to other settings. This frees up beds so hospitals can cope with additional Covid demand while continuing to offer its other critical services.
How do boosters work?

The heavily-mutated and contagious Omicron variant has reduced the ability of two doses of the vaccine to protect us from catching Covid. So, why do boosters work while two doses struggle?

Vaccines educate your immune system to fight coronavirus. The first dose is like primary school and teaches it the basics. Your second is secondary school building on this knowledge. The third is like university - dramatically deepening your immune system's understanding. The protection you're left with after the third dose is bigger, broader, and more memorable than you had before.

Immunity against a virus is almost never absolute - you can get re-infected, but you want a re-infection so trivial you don't know you've got it or it's mild.

This article is taken from a fuller piece published by the BBC.
How are we tackling Covid in the borough?

Next Monday (20 December) is the final meeting of the year of the Outbreak Engagement Board. If you want to submit a question for it, the deadline is midday tomorrow (17 December).

Simply email your question(s) to Democratic Services to be asked on your behalf, and answered during the session.

The meeting starts at 2.30pm and is streamed live on our YouTube channel. As it's recorded, if you miss it you can always watch it later.
All the latest at your fingertips

Keep up to date with all the Royal Borough's non COVID-19 news in our other weekly e-newsletter. You can sign up for it here and unsubscribe at any time. You're in control.
Helpful contacts

Keep up to date with Royal Borough Covid news and information by following us on Twitter and Facebook.