Covid: False negative test results given at government-run PCR site

Department of Health and Social Care says investigation was underway following results

Thomas Kingsley
Friday 15 October 2021 09:02
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<p>The council has urged residents and close contacts to retest </p>

The council has urged residents and close contacts to retest

Members of the public have been urged to rebook coronavirus tests after West Berkshire council announced that PCR tests at its Newbury Showground testing site incorrectly provided negative results to some people.

In a statement, West Berkshire Council said reports were received from local residents voicing concerns about the accuracy of the tests from the government run site.

“We passed these concerns onto the Department for Health and Social Care 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,” the statement said.

The local authority “strongly” encouraged that anyone who took a PCR test between 3 - 12 October and received a negative result, should retest in addition to their close contacts.

It’s unclear how many sites across the UK are affected by the issue but the Department for Health and Social Care has confirmed an investigation is underway.

Councillor Graham Bridgman, Executive Member for Health and Wellbeing joined in urging residents to rebook PCR tests to prevent the spread of coronavirus across the district.

“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 straightaway. We also strongly encourage the public to do twice weekly lateral flow testing,” councillor Bridgman said.

It comes as fully vaccinated people arriving in England from countries not on the red list have been told they can take a cheaper and quicker lateral flow test rather than the PCR version from October 24.

The Independent approached the UK Health and Security Agency, formerly Public Health England, for comment.

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