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IMPORTANT INFORMATION FROM THE DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC HEALTH

Thursday 24th June 2021

PLEASE READ THIS IMPORTANT INFORMATION FROM THE DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC HEALTH

Advice from the Director of Public Health

The seven-day rate of coronavirus cases in Stoke-on-Trent is now 85 per 100,000 people, for the week 11 June - 17 June 2021. There continues to be a significant increase of cases in the city, increase of 71.7 per cent on the previous seven days. The percentage of people who have had a test and tested positive is 2.5 per cent.

As many of you will be aware, there have been a number of COVID-19 cases in Staffordshire schools – some of which have been linked to the outbreak in Leek, and the testing of thousands of secondary and primary schools in Newcastle is now underway.

Given that there have been cases in schools and within schools in neighbouring local authority areas, we are urging all staff and pupils in Stoke-on-Trent city schools – both in primary and secondary settings - to take a COVID-19 test before the end of this school week. One in three people with COVID-19 don’t show symptoms, so regular testing using lateral flow tests (LFTs) is key to squashing any potential outbreaks.

You can access tests via a number of ways:

Home testing kits

Everyone in England is now able to access two home LFT kits each week. They are free and there are various ways you can access them. The kits are quick to use from home, and give results in 30 minutes. Testing twice a week should now be a normal part of our lives, even if you have had the vaccination you can still spread the virus, and there are still a lot of people who have not yet had their jab.

It’s also really important that your test results are registered online or over the phone - whether your result is positive, negative or a void result. If testing at home, residents will need to register their results online or by calling 119.

They should self-isolate if positive and order a confirmatory PCR test within 48 hours of a positive LFT.

Community Collect

Home testing kits are available to collect from a number of venues across the city. Our staff are trained and on hand to help you and they are available to answer any questions or concerns you may have and to talk you through how to use these tests. You can find out more details about the community collect venues which offer this via https://www.stoke.gov.uk/communitycollect

Pharmacy Collection

You can also collect home testing kits from 58 pharmacies across the city. You can find out where you can collect them from via a map on the NHS website, available at Find where to get rapid lateral flow tests - NHS (test-and-trace.nhs.uk)

Ordering tests online:

If you cannot collect a home test kit from a community testing site or pharmacy, you can order them online by Order coronavirus (COVID-19) rapid lateral flow tests - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

Book a Covid-19 test

You will still be able to book tests at our community testing centres and there are still plenty of slots available. A full list of community locations and booking options and a range of locations, dates and times for the week ahead the are available on our website via www.stoke.gov.uk/bookacovid19test.

If you have one of the three main symptoms then you are not eligible for lateral flow testing. You should instead book a test through https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test, or by calling 119.

Please also remember that confirmatory PCR tests for positive lateral flow tests have been reintroduced. It is really important that everyone has a confirmatory PCR test within 48 hours maximum of a positive lateral flow test (LFT) at our community venues.

It is very important that you follow the instructions on the test and report your test result, whatever the result.

You only need to inform school if the test is positive.

Please continue to support our school community by testing regularly.

We are doing all we can to avoid any bubble closures before the summer holidays, and appreciate your support in this.

Stay Safe.