Coronavirus in Berkshire round up – Monday, December 28

Almost 700 positive Covid-19 cases have been reported in Berkshire in the past 24 hours.

Public Health England has recorded these lab-confirmed cases in the past day in areas including Reading, Bracknell, Wokingham, West Berkshire, Slough and Windsor and Maidenhead.

These figures, correct as Monday, December 28, bringing the county’s lab-confirmed positive Covid-19 tests total to 25,331, according to Public Health England.

In the last 24 hours, the total number of Covid-19 cases for Berkshire was recorded at 677.

The local breakdown for the past 24 hours as follows:

West Berkshire – 122, 3,041

Slough – 148, 6,543

Bracknell – 87, 3,102

Wokingham – 80, 3,933

Windsor and Maidenhead – 139, 4,003

Reading – 91, 4,709

The latest seven-day rate per 100,000 people locally are as follows:

Wokingham – 409.1

Bracknell – 559

Slough – 585.1

Windsor and Maidenhead – 484.7

West Berkshire – 356.6

Reading – 440.1

In today’s national coronavirus news:

Sir Jeremy Farrar, a member of the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, has said the arguments for reopening schools in January were “very finely balanced”.

“I think the next few weeks going into January are going to be extremely difficult across the whole country,” Sir Jeremy, director of the Wellcome Trust, told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.

“Certainly my own view is that schools opening is an absolute priority. But society – and eventually this is a political decision – will have to balance keeping schools open, if that is possible, with therefore closing down other parts of society.”

The UK is unlikely to achieve herd immunity through a Covid-19 vaccination programme before the summer, a scientist advising the Government has said.

A teaching union is calling for a delay to the reopening of schools in January as the Government hopes to push ahead with its new year plan.

Dr Patrick Roach, general secretary of the NASUWT wrote to the Education Secretary on Monday demanding further action on school safety.

The letter calls for Gavin Williamson to allow schools to move to remote learning for all pupils, except those deemed to be vulnerable or the children of key workers, in the highest tier areas.

“Delaying the return of pupils to schools and colleges at the start of the spring term will also enable all school and college employers to undertake and consult as required on new risk assessments and ensure that they can be compliant with any new measures or requirements contained in any forthcoming national guidance,” it says.

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