Fifteen areas of North Staffordshire have been identified as coronavirus ‘hotspots’ – as people living and working there are urged to get a test.
Staffordshire County Council has updated its list of the areas with the highest rates of community transmission.
It has listed 12 areas of Newcastle borough – Audley, Bradwell, Crackley and Red Street, Cross Heath, Holditch and Chesterton, Kidsgrove and Ravenscliffe, Knutton, May Bank, Silverdale, Talke and Butt Lane, Newcastle town centre, and Wolstanton.
And in the Staffordshire Moorlands – Caverswall, Cheadle North East and Werrington – are also classed as Covid-19 ‘hotspots’.
It comes as Staffordshire currently has a coronavirus infection rate of 180.5 per 100,000 population. That is above both the West Midlands and England average.
Now the focus is switching to targeting people in the ‘hotspot’ areas who are well and do not have any Covid-19 symptoms. It is a tactic to stop them unwittingly spreading the infection to other people.
These will run alongside the lateral flow tests – where the results are known in 30 minutes – which are set to test up to 10 per cent of the county’s population every week.
County councillor Dr Johnny McMahon, cabinet member for health, care and wellbeing, said: “It is good news that Staffordshire’s cases are continuing to fall and that rapid testing will be available.
“We know that the vaccine has been rolled out, and while this is more good news it is important to remember that it will take several months to vaccinate people, protect the vulnerable and stop the spread of the virus.
“We are entering the colder months at the heart of winter, so it is even more important that we continue to follow the rules of washing our hands regularly, wearing a face covering, and keeping our distance.
“Plus, from this week, we are asking people who live or work in one of the identified hotspot areas, to get tested even if you feel well and are not displaying any symptoms.”
Community testing is being carried out at Bradwell Lodge Community Centre, on Bradwell Lane, in Porthill, from 9am to 3pm on Wednesday, December 9 and Thursday, December 10.
To book a test click here: