After four weeks, Stoke-on-Trent is no longer on the government’s national watch list for coronavirus cases.
The government announces each week areas of the country that fall into three categories, the most severe being in intervention, where local and national leaders can enforce restrictions such as local lockdowns; in receipt of enhanced support, where a range of extra resources are put in place for additional testing and contact tracing; and areas of concern, where authorities, Public Health England and the NHS Test and Trace service work together to target activities in particular areas, and are monitored nationally.
The data used by government in its watch list is based on the previous two weeks of coronavirus data, and the publication comes at a time when today’s estimate of the rate of infection known as the R value is between 1.2-1.5 for both the UK and the Midlands. This means that if one person gets coronavirus they will on average pass it on to 1.2 -1.5 other people.
On Friday, it has been confirmed that Stoke-on-Trent is no longer on the national watch list following four weeks as an area of concern which saw the city move from 43rd to 58th out of 58 local authority areas on the Government watch list last week.
It also comes as Leeds has been confirmed as the next city to go into lockdown tonight with residents banned from seeing other households while restrictions continue in neighbouring areas such as Birmingham and Wolverhampton.
Conservative Council leader Abi Brown said: “Being taken off the watch list is positive and is testimony to efforts being made in the community and by individuals across the city. But we must not get carried away. Cases continue to rise nationally and locally. We are seeing other cities go into lockdown and this is not what we want in Stoke-on-Trent.”
“We want people to remain safe. We want life to continue for residents as normally as it can do at these times and we want to do everything we possibly can to avoid lockdown. New measures introduced this week may seem frustrating but they are nothing compared to what will happen if we have to go into lockdown locally like other cities are.”
“The situation can change incredibly quickly so I continue to stress to people to follow the guidance – the rule of six, keep your distance, cover your face and wash your hands, get tested if you have symptoms and self-isolate if you are asked to it’s only by compliance with these measures that we will continue to kick coronavirus out of Stoke-on-Trent and keep our loved ones safe.”
For more information and advice on the coronavirus (Covid-19) please visit Public Health England:
https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/01/23/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-what-you-need-to-know/ and the NHS: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/.
All residents are reminded about the critical importance of regular handwashing with soap and hot water for 20 seconds. The significance of this action cannot be underestimated. If residents have symptoms, please get tested. All residents must continue to follow the guidance of wash hands, cover face and make space.
For more information on digital services, visit www.stoke.gov.uk, download the MyStoke App, or follow the city council’s social media channels.