Public health chiefs have today confirmed two residents in Staffordshire have contracted coronavirus.
People who have been in close contact with the residents are being contacted by authorities who say there is no significant risk to anyone else in the county.
At this stage, it is not known to StokeonTrentLive if a patient already being treated at Royal Stoke, as reported yesterday, is one of the two residents.
No further details about the residents, including location, will be issued by the authorities due to patient confidentiality.
Katie Spence, Deputy Director, Health Protection, Public Health England West Midlands said: “Public Health England is contacting people who had close contact with two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Staffordshire.
“We‘re working closely with local NHS colleagues as well as Staffordshire County Council to manage the situation and help reduce the risk of further cases.
“Close contacts will be given health advice about symptoms and emergency contact details to use if they become unwell in the 14 days after contact with the confirmed case. This tried and tested method will ensure we are able to minimise any risk to them and the wider public.”
Richard Harling, Staffordshire County Council’s Director of Health and Care, said partners were well prepared.
He said: “These new cases of coronavirus are nothing unexpected. We fully anticipate an increase in numbers which is why our services have planned for, and are ready, for this situation.
“I’d like to reassure people that the risk to the general public remains low and Staffordshire County Council is working with health colleagues to do everything we can to stop the virus spreading and ensure the people of Staffordshire are protected.
“For the vast majority of people in Staffordshire it is very much business as usual and the easiest and most effective way to stop the virus spreading is to follow good basic hygiene: Sneeze or cough into a tissue, bin it, wash your hands frequently for 20 seconds and don’t touch your face unless you’ve just washed your hands.”
Philip Atkins, Leader of Staffordshire County Council, said: “As a county council we are working closely with our partners to monitor and manage any emerging risk and are encouraging everyone to play their part by following NHS advice to help reduce the risk of spreading where possible.”
People can go to https://gov.uk/coronavirus for the latest advice and information.
As of March 4, a total of 16,659 people have been tested in the UK, of which 16,574 were confirmed negative. While 85 were confirmed as positive.