Public urged to retake Covid tests after false negatives in Berkshire

Members of the public have been urged to book for further testing after some PCR tests at a government-run site in Berkshire resulted in false negatives.

West Berkshire council said in a statement some of the tests at the Newbury Showground testing site, operated by the Department of Health and Social Care, “have had results sent out that may have incorrectly shown as negative for Covid-19”.

It added: “After receiving reports from local residents in recent weeks that there were concerns about the accuracy of test results from the site, we passed these concerns on to the DHSC for further investigation.

“The DHSC has now confirmed that a number of sites nationally may have been affected by this issue, including the one at Newbury Showground.”

People who received a negative result for a PCR test between 3 and 12 October, as well as their close contacts, were “strongly” encouraged by the local authority to take another test.

Councillor Graham Bridgman said: “Testing continues to remain important as we learn to live with Covid and anyone who has symptoms, or who has been in contact with someone who tests positive, should book a PCR test straight away. We also strongly encourage the public to do twice weekly lateral flow testing.”

The DHSC has been contacted for comment.

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