The council has reassured residents there is no current spike in cases, after approving a local outbreak control plan for the town.

The Reading Covid-19 outbreak control plan was approved on Tuesday via a decision book by the council’s chief executive Peter Sloman, in consultation with Cllr Graeme Hoskin, Reading Borough Council’s (RBC) lead member for Health.

The plan sets out how partners will work together to keep residents safe from Covid-19 pending the development of more effective treatments and/or a vaccine.

READ MORE: Reading cycle plans dealt blow as full funding not awarded

Cllr Hoskin said Reading “is not seeing any spikes in new cases at this time or exceedances above expected background levels of infection”.

Concern had been raised over the absence of Covid-19 data about the wider community after Leicester was put into local lockdown.

Coronavirus case data on the wider community in Reading was released publicly this week for the first time, and more than 150 new historical cases were added this week as a result.

What is the council’s plan in the event of a local outbreak?

The plan sets out how partners will work together to keep residents safe from COVID-19 pending the development of more effective treatments and/or a vaccine.

It had to meet national requirements and address the particular issues and risks which Covid-19 poses for Reading.

RBC has received £901,000 as its part of £300 million of national funding to support local outbreak control.

The plan aims to help the council:

  • Prevent and manage outbreaks in care homes and schools
  • Prevent and manage outbreaks in other high-risk places, locations and communities
  • Make the best use of local testing capacity
  • Achieve effective contact tracing in complex settings and for complex groups
  • Access the right local data to achieve the aims of the Local Plan
  • Support vulnerable local people who need help to self-isolate, and ensure services meet the needs of diverse communities
  • Establish structures to engage and communicate with the public about and in accordance with the Local Plan
  • Keep Reading’s workforce safe

The plan will be refined, adapted and reviewed with the help of a Local Engagement Board partnership board, a new sub-group of the Reading Health and Wellbeing Board which will meet publicly.

READ MORE: Extension built without permission – council rejects ‘excessive and contrived’ restrospective application

This aims to ensure Reading residents and partners have a voice and leadership is accountable.

It will be overseen by the Berkshire West Health Protection Board, where partners will work together to control the spread locally.

Additionally, the Thames Valley Local Resilience Forum is able to act across a broader geography if needed and the South East Regional Oversight Group will help Reading to learn from other areas.

What actions might be taken or recommended if an outbreak occurs?

The council says it will watch data on cases and risks closely, so its spots outbreaks early, and take evidence-based actions on what is most likely to be effective.

These are some of the measures the council could take:

  • Alert messages
  • Focused testing of people with and without symptoms
  • Setting up special testing facilities
  • Additional contact tracing
  • Closing premises
  • Restricting visiting
  • Cancelling events
  • Closing playgrounds or other facilities
  • Enhanced monitoring of people isolating
  • Advice on PPE and infection prevention and control measures

When should you get in touch with Reading Borough Council about Covid-19?

Contact the council via or on 0118 937 2707:

  • If you have been contacted about being a Covid-19 case or contact and are not sure what to do
  • If you think there are cases in your workplace, school, organisation or other setting

If you have symptoms, stay home and contact NHS Test & Trace to arrange testing at or call 119.

Next steps for the plan

The council has outlined its next steps for the plan with a diagram.

Reading Chronicle: