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Public protection teams hand-deliver testing kits to support smaller hospitality venues, and new variant leads to rise in Covid cases

Published: Thursday, 17th June 2021

Public protection teams are visiting 65 smaller pubs, clubs and hospitality venues to hand-deliver lateral flow coronavirus testing kits.

These will be to support staff ahead of the big European Championship football game on Friday (18 June).

The Stoke-on-Trent City Council teams are visiting independent and amateur-run venues, including cricket clubs and workingmen’s clubs to check on any support they may need to help to ensure staff and customers can follow the game safely. The visits will be completed ahead of the kick-off of the England v Scotland match at 8pm on Friday. Fans are being urged to take a lateral flow test as part of their preparations for the big game.

Councillor leader Abi Brown said: “You may be preparing to meet family and friends to watch the game, choosing your favourite pub or venue to visit to enjoy the atmosphere, or preparing your fridge for drinks and snacks for what promises to be a really exciting Friday evening for so many of us. But make sure you’re including getting tested as part of that preparation. Nobody wants to have to isolate for 10 days because of a 90-minute football match. Similarly, nobody wants any of our fabulous hospitality venues that have been working so hard since the start of the pandemic to keep people safe and follow public health guidance to be faced with having to close because of a Covid outbreak.

“We know venues across the city have had such a tough time of it over the past 18 months, and that a further month of restrictions announced by the government on Monday (14 June) will be a cause of much worry. We understand those concerns and have every sympathy. It’s why our teams are going out right across the city to give as much support as we can, with a particular focus on smaller venues that aren’t part of bigger chains or brands, venues that may need that little bit more support to help ensure they have all of the public health requirements in place.

“We’ve been really impressed with all the work being done by settings across the city, not just hospitality venues, but schools, other businesses and care homes – it is their hard work that is helping to keep our case rates lower than other areas and is helping to stop coronavirus outbreaks from occurring.

“We want to see customers at hospitality venues showing their support for the pub or club that they are visiting by making sure they are following all of the rules to protect themselves and others too, so that the only thing we have to worry about on Friday night is the result in the big match.”

If residents have any concerns about coronavirus guidance compliance, they can contact the public protection team via public.protection@stoke.gov.uk or 01782 234234.

The advice on watching the football safely comes as coronavirus case rates are rising across the city. Stoke-on-Trent’s seven-day rate of coronavirus cases is now 54.6 per 100,000 people, for the week 5 June – 11 June 2021. This is an increase of 141.4 per cent on the previous seven days. The percentage of people who have had a test and tested positive is 1.9 per cent.

Dr Paul Edmondson-Jones, director of adult social care, health integration and wellbeing, said: “Around 95 per cent of our recorded coronavirus cases have now been confirmed as the Delta variant. People should not be panicked by this, it is not unexpected. It fits within the national picture of coronavirus. The Delta variant spreads quickly and is easier to transmit than other variants of the virus. We are expecting cases to rise further by the end of the week. In comparison, we are still not close to the numbers seen in the Staffordshire Moorlands and Cheshire East, but cases are rising quickly.

“We need to stick to the guidance to prevent outbreaks in our city. It is really important that everyone has the vaccine when they are offered it. It is out best defence against the coronavirus. But please remember that just because you have had your first or both doses of the vaccine, it does not mean that you are 100 per cent protected from the virus. There is the chance that you can still catch it and you can still spread it to others who can become poorly from it.

“We’re asking people to please keep testing yourselves at least twice a week and, importantly, to make sure that you record your results. The more tests we do, the more they will help to drive down our positivity rates and most importantly keep ourselves and others around us safe.”

Meanwhile enhanced community pop-up testing continues to take place at locations across the city. Teams were out in Blurton yesterday (Tuesday) and will be returning to Blurton Community Hub in Ingestre Square tomorrow (Thursday), between 10am – 2pm. Next week teams will be visiting Bentilee to coincide with market day.

The work builds on pop-up testing that has been carried out in Hanley Park, Longton Park and Longton market, and Burslem market square over the past few weeks. The testing helps to give targeted support to specific communities, and teams are able to give advice to residents about testing, help them to do a lateral flow test there and then, and hand out home testing kits and explain how they are used. In Burslem last week, 939 boxes of home testing kits were handed out in two days, meaning residents are benefiting from being able to carry out more than 6,500 lateral flow tests.

-Ends-

For all media enquiries only please contact the Communications Department at Stoke-on-Trent City Council on 01782 232671.

www.stoke.gov.uk/news

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