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Coronavirus cases rise, as lockdown begins and council works to continue to provide key services

Published: Wednesday, 6th January 2021

Community leaders warn coronavirus cases in the city continue to rise as the first day of the latest national lockdown begins. Meanwhile, the council is working to maintain key services for residents.

Community leaders are warning that coronavirus cases in the city are continuing to rise as the first day of the latest national lockdown begins.

Latest figures from Stoke-on-Trent City Council show the city has a seven-day rate of 373.3 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people from 27 December to 2 January, a 54.1 per cent increase in cases on the previous week of 20 December to 26 December.

The percentage of people who have had a positive coronavirus test has also risen to 12.2 per cent. The data shows that the highest case rate remains in working-aged people, in the 30-40 age range.

Dr Paul Edmondson-Jones, director of adult social care, health integration and wellbeing, said: “We would expect an increase in cases in the days after the Christmas period, and this is what we are seeing. But we are also seeing the new variant of the coronavirus spreading rapidly in other parts of the country. Cases in London and the south east are alarmingly high; we don’t have that level of increase and aren’t seeing widespread strains of the variant in Stoke-on-Trent yet, but the rise in infection rates locally is deeply worrying. It is critical that we all do the right thing in following the restrictions, protect the NHS and protect ourselves and our loved ones.”

The authority is reminding residents of the lockdown rules. Under the restrictions, you must not leave, or be outside of your home except where necessary. You may leave the home to:

  • Shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person
  • Go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home
  • Exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person, this should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area
  • Meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one
  • Seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)
  • Attend education or childcare – for those eligible.

Further information on the lockdown is available at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home.

Council leader Abi Brown said: “The lockdown is another big challenge for residents, communities and businesses and the next weeks will undoubtedly be a difficult time for many people. We urge people to follow the restrictions and continue to protect themselves and others.

“We can all take a lot of pride in the way that our city responded to the previous national lockdowns. It has shown us that the people of Stoke-on-Trent are sensible, understand that this is a very serious matter and act responsibility. We will get through these tough times together.

“We continue to work with a lot of brilliant organisations right across the city to provide a host of services that can support you during this time. Services can help with a range of issues such as mental health, domestic abuse, homelessness and financial problems. You can find out more about accessing support by going to https://www.stoke.gov.uk/supportservices.

“Our mental health helpline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you are feeling anxious or low and need some support, please call 01782 234233. We are here for you. The #StokeonTrentTogether network is also available to help you access a range of support such as help with food and shopping. Visit https://corona19.vast.org.uk, or call 0800 561 5610.”

The authority has announced that it is working to maintain key services for residents during the lockdown. The city’s two tip sites at Federation Road in Burslem and at Hanford will remain open as usual with continued social distancing measures in place, bin collections will continue to take place, playgrounds will remain open and a wide range of support services will remain available to help residents and communities through the restrictions.

In line with the lockdown rules, some services will remain closed: leisure centres will be closed, and will continue to offer popular virtual classes; five-a-side sport pitches, tennis courts, indoor and outdoor gyms, and multi-use games areas will be closed; libraries will remain closed and continue to offer click, call and collect services; and museums will remain closed, with a range of online services including digital galleries and collections and online shops still available.

Housing responsive repairs will move to an emergency service for internal works, with external works continuing as usual, and gas and electrical compliance works will continue as usual. Works will take place if they are a benefit to wellbeing and the resident is happy for them to be done.

Council leader Abi Brown said: “We have been working hard to ensure that as many of our services as possible can continue to operate during the lockdown, in line with the restrictions. This means that we will again redeploy staff from services that are closed, such as leisure centres and libraries, to help us to keep other services running. But please do bear in mind that the majority of our staff are residents in the city. Every measure is being taken so that they can work in a Covid-secure way, but if our staff have to isolate during the lockdown, it may impact on our ability to deliver services.”

Meanwhile, rapid result coronavirus tests are continuing to take place at locations across the city for people who do not have any of the three common symptoms and have not had a positive Covid-19 test in the 10 days prior to symptoms starting. Those who are asymptomatic or have mild non-specific symptoms such as a headache, feeling tired or lethargic should book a lateral flow test. We are also urging those who are unable to work from home and who still have to go to work to get tested as well as anyone who is a carer or in a support or childcare bubble.

The lateral flow tests, which give a result within 30 minutes, are available at the following dates and times:

  • Wednesday at LRV- Students Union, Staffordshire University, 9.30am 3pm.
  • Thursday at Northwood Stadium, 9.30am 3pm.
  • Friday at Northwood Stadium, 9.30am - 3pm.
  • Saturday at Dimensions Leisure Centre 9.30am - 3pm.
  • Sunday at Dimensions Leisure Centre 9.30am - 3pm.

Book at www.stoke.gov.uk/bookatcovid19test.

If you have one or more of the three common coronavirus symptoms – a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – you are not eligible for lateral flow testing and should instead book a test through https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test, or by calling 119.

Dr Paul Edmondson-Jones, director of adult social care, health integration and wellbeing, said: “Roughly one in three people have the virus without symptoms, and so could be spreading the disease without knowing it. Broadening testing within the community to identify those showing no symptoms will mean finding positive cases more quickly, and will help to break the chain of transmission.”

For the latest information on council services and support during the coronavirus, and frequently asked questions, please visit www.stoke.gov.uk/coronavirus. For latest health advice on the coronavirus, please visit www.nhs.uk/coronavirus, and for further information on the virus visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus.


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. If residents have symptoms, please get tested. All residents must continue to follow the guidance of wash hands, cover face and make space.