Residents in Staffordshire’s coronavirus hotspot are being urged to get a test.
Latest figures show Newcastle borough has a Covid-19 infection rate of 427.2 cases per 100,000 people after recording 3,985 cases since the start of the global pandemic.
And coronavirus cases are particularly high in Clayton, May Bank, Cross Heath and Crackley.
Now Staffordshire County Council is urging people to book slots at the borough’s two test centres – Ryecroft, in Newcastle, and at Keele University.
Newcastle borough currently has the 21st highest coronavirus infection rate in the whole of England.
People with the main symptoms of Covid-19 – a persistent cough, a fever, or the loss of taste or smell – must self-isolate immediately, remain in isolation until they have their test result, and continue to isolate for 10 days if their test is positive.
But anyone who has a headache, aches and pains, tiredness, a sore throat, runny nose or the sneezes as well as those who fear they may have been exposed to the virus are also being advised to book a test. They do not need to self-isolate unless they are positive.
County councillor Dr Johnny McMahon, cabinet member for health, care and wellbeing, said: “With a high number of cases in the town we would like to see more people get tested if they have symptoms or if they have concerns about the virus.
“While testing appointments are limited, there is currently good availability at the local testing centres and by testing more people we will be able to identify and isolate more cases and reduce the spread of the virus.”
Newcastle Brouogh Council leader Simon Tagg added: “We are concerned that there are still lots of cases in the town.
“We want to offer testing to as many people as possible to help stop the spread of the infection and protect both lives and livelihoods in the borough.”