MORE than 1,000 people have tested positive for coronavirus in Berkshire in the last 24 hours.
Public Health England has recorded 1,041 lab-confirmed cases in areas including Reading, Bracknell, Wokingham, West Berkshire, Slough and Windsor and Maidenhead.
These figures are correct as of Tuesday, December 29.
The local breakdown for the past 24 hours as follows:
Bracknell – 152 cases, 3,254 total
Wokingham – 184 cases, 4,117 total
West Berkshire – 100 cases, 3,141 total
Slough – 259 cases, 6,802 total
Windsor and Maidenhead – 188 cases, 4,191 total
Reading – 158 cases, 4,867 total
There have now been 2,382,865 people across the UK who have tested positive for Covid-19.
The total number of deaths – those with Covid-19 listed on their death certificate – across the UK has now reached 79,351.
Locally, there were five deaths in the past 24 hours (one reported in Bracknell, three in Slough and two in Windsor and Maidenhead).
The latest seven-day rate per 100,000 people locally are as follows:
Bracknell – 568.8
Wokingham – 413.7
West Berkshire – 335.8
Slough – 646.7
Windsor and Maidenhead – 509.8
Reading – 452.5
In today’s national coronavirus news:
Schools may have to remain shut in order to control coronavirus transmission, senior scientists have warned.
Professor Neil Ferguson, a member of the government’s New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag), said there had been a “balancing act” since lockdown was initially eased between keeping control of the virus and maintaining “some semblance of normal society”.
But he said planned school reopenings from next week may have to be postponed.
He told BBC Radio 4’s World At One programme: “Clearly nobody wants to keep schools shut.
“But if that’s the only alternative to having exponentially growing numbers of hospitalisations, that may be required at least for a period.
“There are no easy solutions here.
“My real concern is that even if universities, schools, do have staggered returns or even stay closed, how easy it would be to maintain control of the virus is unclear now, given how much more transmissible this variant is.”
Earlier, Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) members Professor Andrew Hayward and Dr Mike Tildesley signalled the possibility of a “slight delay” to having pupils back on site.
The government said it is “still planning for a staggered opening of schools” after Christmas but is keeping the plan under constant review.