Council bin men, carers and crematorium staff are being swabbed for coronavirus at a new testing centre.
They can now go to the new NHS station set up at the bet365 Stadium.
It will give piece of mind to worried Stoke-on-Trent City Council workers who fear they have coronavirus and allow self-isolating staff with a cough or fever to return to the front-line if they receive the all-clear.
Union leaders have welcomed the decision to extend testing to council key workers. It comes as brown bin collections have been suspended across Stoke-on-Trent because of a staff shortage caused by the pandemic.
GMB official Stuart Richards said: “It is a really positive move, although we do have concerns about access and availability.
“We need to find out how many tests are available because it is a significant workforce, and if we can get that right it will be brilliant.
“The other issue is that, for care workers in particular, they often don’t have their own transport so we need to find out about access for them.”
The bet365 Stadium drive-through testing centre opened on Monday. A worker must have a pre-booked appointment to be tested. It is also testing NHS workers, police officers, firefighters, care home staff and teachers.
It follow concerns about NHS workers having to travel to Manchester or Stafford for tests. Similar test centres are also operating in Burton and at Crewe’s Leighton Hospital.
The extra testing stations have been set up as the Government attempts to meet its 100,000 tests-a-day target by the end of April.
City council leader Abi Brown said: “There are facilities there for our staff to be tested – that’s care staff, bin men and people who work in the crematorium.
“The result of each test will be available within 48-hours. It will help people who want to know whether they’ve got to self-isolate or if they can carry on working.”