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Testing capacity steps up during half term

Published: Monday, 26th October 2020

Over 500 more coronavirus tests over six days are to be made available to Stoke-on-Trent residents following a further extension of community testing from Monday 26 October.

It means Stoke-on-Trent City Council, working with the NHS and partners, is increasing testing capacity across the city. The facilities have been put in place as a local solution to respond to the increase in positive cases. These community testing centres are in addition to regional and mobile test centres which are organised nationally.

Testing will be available at:

  • Monday 26 October: St Mark’s Primary School, Shelton, 10:30am -1pm
  • Tuesday 27 October: St Mark’s Primary School, Shelton, 12:30pm -2pm
  • Wednesday 28 October: Moorside High School, Werrington, 10am-2pm
  • Friday 30 October: Trentham High School, Trentham, 11am-3pm
  • Saturday 31 October: Smallthorne Primary School, Smallthorne, 11am-3pm

The booking line for appointments is now live and is bookable 48 hours in advance for anyone with symptoms. Before trying to book at the community centres, people should first try to get a testing appointment through the national system. The regional testing centres are at the Stoke City FC South Car Park and Fenton Manor Car Park. Bookings can be made via www.nhs.uk/coronavirus, or ringing 119, where help is available in other languages.

If not successful through the national booking, people can book for a community test 48 hours in advance on a rolling basis if they are showing coronavirus symptoms at on www.stoke.gov.uk

If residents do need to cancel their booking, they are urged to please follow the instruction on their confirmation email.

Residents are reminded if they are showing symptoms they must book a test immediately at one of the testing centres across the city. Testing is available seven days a week, if residents start showing symptoms at the weekend, they must not wait until Monday, they must get a test straight away.

Dr Paul Edmondson Jones, director of adult social care and health said: “Expanding testing for local people we know is really making a difference. Offering a local solution means hundreds more people are able to get back to work and school in Stoke-on-Trent and be confident they aren’t spreading the virus. But most importantly if people are showing symptoms and receive a positive test result they are able to get this confirmation quickly and are not therefore spreading the virus to their family, friends and work colleagues.

“It is vitally important whilst waiting for test results, residents must self-isolate. This means not visiting loved ones, however hard that may be; it is the right thing to do.

“The future is in our hands and continuing doing the right thing – whether that’s moving Stoke-on-Trent into high COVID alert level, securing more local testing, washing hands regularly, making space or covering our faces – will make the difference. We do not want to move into very high COVID alert level and face further restrictions.”

Meanwhile businesses in Stoke-on-Trent will be offered extra support as part of the Government’s Local Restrictions Support Scheme.

The Chancellor has announced additional grants for businesses in areas with high alert status meaning that these will be available in Stoke-on-Trent as the city is now under high alert coronavirus restrictions. These grants are primarily aimed at businesses in the hospitality, accommodation and leisure sector that are adversely impacted by restrictions. 

Other support options for businesses include the Job Support Scheme, the plan designed to replace the furlough system from November 1, and also extra support for the self-employed. 

Councillor Daniel Jellyman, deputy leader of the city council said: “We know how challenging it is for businesses at the moment, not only in Stoke-on-Trent, but across the UK. We welcome the announcement of additional grants as part of the Local Restrictions Support Scheme and will be getting in touch with businesses soon about the application process, once we have received final guidance from the Government.  It has never been more important to support our city’s many businesses and employees, as they continue to ‘Power Up’ the city’s local economy.

“In the meantime, our dedicated business support team is available to advise and support our local businesses with any specific business or funding enquiries. I would urge any business owner to get in touch with them should they need any help or advice.

Councillor Carl Edwards, cabinet member for environment said: “I want to thank those businesses across the city who are continuing to operate safely during these unprecedented times – we are showing that.  It’s so important we all continue to follow the guidance – washing our hands, wearing a face covering and making space, to prevent the virus from spreading and to try and avoid going into ‘very high’ alert status, which would have a detrimental impact on our local economy.”

Business owners can contact the business support team on 01782 236878 or email business.growth@stoke.gov.uk.

More information on the Local Restrictions Support Scheme can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/plan-for-jobs-chancellor-increases-financial-support-for-businesses-and-workers

More information on support for businesses can be found here: https://www.stoke.gov.uk/info/20095/coronavirus_covid-19_closures_and_information/348/business_support