Coronavirus tests have increased 10-fold at the bet365 Stadium in the first days since the facility was upgraded to a regional testing centre.
A total of 2,283 people have been tested at the facility since services expanded on 29 May through to 7 June. It means that on average 230 people a day are using the centre, compared to just 20-40 people a day when the site was a satellite centre.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council, along with a number of partners, campaigned to get the facilities upgraded.
Council leader Abi Brown said: “We lobbied hard for the provision to be expanded. When the satellite testing centre first opened it was for frontline public sector key workers. It meant that other local people were being directed to Manchester, Birmingham or even further afield for tests.
“It is great to see the upgraded facility being used to support more of our residents locally; it is a really good asset to have in the city. The centre has capacity to test up to 1,000 people a day, so clearly it is coping with demand and there is scope for more people to be tested.”
Stafford’s regional testing centre at Stafford Education and Enterprise Park opened on 4 June. It has received 441 visitors from 4 June – 7 June.
Tests can be booked in the following ways:
• For essential workers (including NHS, Social Care, Police and Fire): https://www.gov.uk/apply-coronavirus-test-essential-workers.
• For care homes use the care home portal: https://www.gov.uk/apply-coronavirus-test-care-home.
• For members of the public who are eligible visit the NHS portal: https://www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test.
Full criteria of who is eligible to be tested can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested.
Meanwhile, the authority has announced it is increasing opportunities to access learning disability day services from Monday (15 June). Waterside Day Service in Newstead and The Meadows in Bentilee will open again to residents, with social distancing and health and safety measures in place to protect visitors and staff.
This will ensure the needs of vulnerable residents can continue to be met while enabling valued carers – who have taken on additional caring responsibilities over the past few months – to have the additional support they need to continue providing the crucial care that they offer on a day-to-day basis.
Careful consideration has been given to the numbers of people using the service at any one time to ensure the safety of individuals and staff, and appropriate transport for people using the centres has been arranged.
Service users are being contacted directly by the council on the arrangements, or can call Waterside Day Services on 01782 233191 if they have any queries.
In other news, the council is encouraging more people to come forward as foster carers. The authority is experiencing an increase in the number of children in need of temporary care during the pandemic and due to not being able to use the courts in the same way as before the lockdown restrictions.
Councillor Brown said: “We’ve experienced an increase in the number of children in need of foster care. We have around 940 children in our care, and our fostering service provides full training and support to help. We want to keep Stoke-on-Trent children in the city where they belong. But to do this we need the help of local people.
“We’re looking for people with a spare bedroom and a big heart who can offer a safe home to one of our children in need. Placements can range from a few days, weekends-only or full-time.
“We currently have 294 fostering households who do a brilliant job in supporting local children. But clearly we have a big gap and demand for more.
“There really is no typical foster carer. Anyone can come forward and make such a big difference in a child’s life regardless of age, gender, religious or cultural background, sexual orientation, whether or not you work, or if you are married, single or divorced. Our friendly team will be more than happy to talk you through the process step-by-step.”
If you would like to know more about becoming a foster carer in Stoke-on-Trent visit www.stoke.gov.uk/fostering or call 01782 234555.
For more information and advice on coronavirus (Covid-19) please visit Public Health England:
https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/01/23/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-what-you-need-to-know/ and the NHS: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/.
All residents are reminded about the critical importance of regular handwashing with soap and hot water for 20 seconds. The significance of this action cannot be underestimated.
For more information on digital services, visit www.stoke.gov.uk, download the MyStoke App, or follow the city council’s social media channels.
For all media enquiries only please contact the Communications Department at Stoke-on-Trent City Council on 01782 232671.
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