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Coronavirus has ‘firm grip’ on city, while testing rates increase and businesses seek advice on opening

Published: Wednesday, 18th November 2020

Coronavirus now has a firm grip on Stoke-on-Trent, but we all have the ability to get through this dark hour, that’s the stark message from civic leaders in the city.

An update on the city council’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and the co-ordination of ongoing response efforts was provided in an online cabinet meeting which took place yesterday, Tuesday, November 17.

The update, which was provided by the city council leader Abi Brown, follows the news that Stoke-on-Trent now has a seven-day infection rate of 557.8 per 100,000 people in the week to 13 November, one of the highest rates in the country, and this rate is likely to rise further before falling.

City council leader Abi Brown said: “We need to face the harsh reality that the coronavirus currently has a firm grip on the city, and infection rates are sadly increasing. Our data shows that there has been an increase in cases which relate to the period immediately before the lockdown earlier this month, and we expect cases to increase further this week before we see signs of it falling.

“We are at a dark hour, but the actions that we all take now will be critical in how we respond to this threat. We all have the ability to reduce the spread of this horrid virus – the actions that we all take have a direct bearing on controlling it.”

Dr Paul Edmondson-Jones, director of adult social care, health integration and wellbeing, said: “New cases of the virus are continuing to rise in the city, Stoke-on-Trent having one of the highest rates in the country is not something we wanted to see happen. Now is the time for us to turn this around so we can hope that lockdown measures can be eased in the city.”

You can read the report presented to Cabinet in full at

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