Nearly 400 people have been tested for Covid-19 in a Stoke-on-Trent neighbourhood following a local outbreak – but there have been only two more confirmed cases so far.
A total of 111 Normacot residents were tested for coronavirus on Friday, with a further 288 tests being carried out on Saturday.
Of the tests carried out on Friday, just two have come back positive so far, with 102 negative and seven still being processed. The council is still waiting for the results of the tests carried out on Saturday.
The local authority delivered hundreds of leaflets to local residents on Friday, telling them about the spike in cases and inviting them to get tested.
Council leader Abi Brown thanked residents for their response to the appeal.
She said: “We’re really pleased that we’ve only had a relatively small number of positive cases following the testing at the weekend. Hopefully, that will still be the case once we’ve had the results from the testing on Saturday.
“We’re also pleased that so many came forward to get tested. I know that some people were queueing up for up to 45 minutes, but everybody was good humoured and did what they were asked.
“It’s important that people in the Normacot area continue to follow the guidance. They should avoid going out as much as possible, and not go to other people’s homes.”
It is still not yet known whether the Normacot cases are linked to a particular location or event.
While the council has been particularly concerned about the outbreak in Normacot, the city as a whole has seen an increase in positive cases in August.
Stoke-on-Trent’s weekly rate of new cases had fallen to around three per 100,000 population in July, but in the week ending August 9 this rate shot back up to 15.6 – the 26th highest in England. Ten new cases were reported in Stoke-on-Trent on Sunday.
If the city’s weekly rate continues to rise, it could prompt the Goverment to intervene, as has been the case in Leicester, Manchester and West Yorkshire.
Mrs Brown called on residents to abide by social distancing and hygiene rules to stop this happening.
She added: “There has been an uptick in cases recently, although that may have now plateaued at around 40 cases a week. We’re seeing up to 10 cases a day. It is concerning that we have had that uptick.
“We’re not yet on the Government’s watch list, and that is something we want to avoid. We don’t want to see stricter rules imposed on Stoke-on-Trent, or even a localised lockdown. That’s why people need to follow the advice on washing hands, wearing face coverings and making space.”