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Thu 28 Oct 2021:
Your regular update from Reading Borough Council on our response to the COVID-19 pandemic and how you can help
A message from Reading Borough Council leader Jason Brock
With a rise in COVID-19 cases throughout October, it is important that everyone does what they can to help get the rate down again.
 
Parents in Reading are being encouraged to book COVID-19 vaccinations for their children as soon as possible.
Parents or guardians can book COVID-19 vaccine appointments for their children aged 12 - 15 at the Broad Street Mall vaccine centre: appointments are available 9.30am - 7pm seven days a week. Further information and advice is available on the same link above or by calling 119.

COVID-19 is usually mild in most children, but it can make some children unwell. One dose of a COVID-19 vaccine gives good protection against your child getting seriously ill. Vaccinating children can also help stop the spread of COVID-19 to other people, including within schools.

Testing for schoolchildren and parents before returning to school
Specific testing advice has also been issued regarding students returning to school next week after half term. Children aged 12 and over, parents, guardians, school and college staff should get tested before returning, especially as 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 have no symptoms and are spreading the virus without knowing. This includes those who have had their vaccine. Options available are: Find out more about testing on the NHS website.

COVID-19 Booster Vaccine
If you’ve been invited for your COVID-19 booster vaccine by your GP or the NHS, please make an appointment as soon as possible.

You can book your booster on the NHS website, where bookings are also available if you have not been contacted but it’s been 6 months and 1 week (190 days) since your second dose. Alternatively call 119 or contact your GP practice to book. Find out on the NHS website if you are eligible for the COVID-19 booster.
 
Reading Half Marathon
On Sunday 7 November, thousands of people will run in the 13.1 mile Unleashed Performance Reading Half Marathon, which will finish in front of a crowd inside the Select Car Leasing Stadium. The event has been rescheduled from mid-March due to the pandemic.
 
We have worked closely with race organisers to minimise the amount of disruption to residents and other road users. There will be a series of rolling road closures and diversions on the route at a variety of times between 7am and 4pm. These can be viewed on our dedicated webpage, and the full route map can be found on the Reading half marathon page.
 
We hope residents and visitors enjoy the event, but do ask you to plan ahead and allow extra time for any journeys on the day.
 
Council tax consultation
We are considering changes to our Local Council Tax Reductions Scheme for 2022/23. The scheme helps working age people who have a low income, or no income, to pay their Council Tax.
 
We want to hear your views which will then help us shape any potential changes to our scheme and ensure we make the best possible use of the money we have available, whilst still providing this valuable support to the most vulnerable.
 
You can give your views here by 21 November. The proposals for the consultation were presented to Policy Committee on 23 September 2021, and you can read the full report here.
 
The Council will make a final decision on the scheme by the end of January, and details of the new scheme will be published on our website.
 
Climate change – how you can help
November is the start of our campaign to remind everyone what you can do to make positive changes and reduce your carbon footprint to tackle climate change.
 
The four-week campaign, Be the change you want to see in Reading, will focus on:
  • How residents can get involved, hints and tips - how the small things can make a big difference in aggregate
  • Be inspired, find out more and get involved
  • Action being taken; the Reading Climate Emergency Strategy and Council Carbon Plan
  • COP26
The council declared a climate emergency in 2019 and has committed to achieving a target of net zero carbon emissions by 2030. To help, we’ve:
  • Increased our recycling rate from 32% up to 52% over the last year by introducing food waste collections for residents.
  • Promoted active travel and public transport – investing in cycle and pedestrian routes, bus priority measures and a clean bus fleet.
  • Put our first electric refuse truck out on the streets – powered by electricity generated from the food waste we collect from residents. There are plans for more electrification of the Council’s vehicle fleet too.
  • Installed heat pumps in Council buildings and housing to take advantage of low carbon electricity and support the move away from gas.
The Climate Emergency is everybody’s responsibility. There’s lots to be done and we can't do it on our own - we need residents, communities, businesses and organisations across Reading to get involved. Please help us achieve these shared goals.
WHY GET TESTED REGULARLY IF YOU DON'T HAVE COVID-19 SYMPTOMS?



We should all get tested frequently because it helps detect the most infectious COVID-19 cases and helps stop the virus spreading.
 
About 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 do not have symptoms but can still infect others. You can get free regular COVID tests if you do not have symptoms of COVID-19. 
 
It’s recommended that we all do rapid Lateral Flow Device COVID tests at least twice a week (every 3 to 4 days) to check if we have the virus. If people test positive they should get a PCR test and self-isolate until they get a negative result as this helps stop the virus spreading.
 
Even if you’re vaccinated, there’s still a chance you can pass COVID-19 on, so you should keep getting tested regularly.
 
You can order free COVID tests to do at home and keep the people you care about safe, or find your local click and collect centre here.

However, if you DO have symptoms of COVID-19, you need a different test called a PCR test, which you can book on the Government website.
 
KEEP UP TO DATE WITH THE LATEST COVID-19 RESPONSE NEWS FROM READING BOROUGH COUNCIL

With the latest advice and service information changing regularly, you can keep up to date by following our dedicated page to the Covid-19 response here: https://www.reading.gov.uk/coronavirus
Please also follow us on Facebook and Twitter (links below) for regular updates.
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