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Coronavirus Statement from Abi Brown

Written by on 2 January 2021

Leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council Councillor Abi Brown said: “We’re naturally hugely disappointed that Stoke-on-Trent was not able to stay in tier 3, particularly as residents and businesses have worked really hard to drive down infection rates in the city over recent weeks. However we understand the government’s precautionary approach in moving the majority of the region into tier 4.

“We recognise that the further tightening of the restrictions is very difficult for many people. However, it is our duty to ensure the safety of each other. The more time you spend and come into contact with people, the more chance you have of bringing Covid into your home and into other people’s homes.

“The news today that the Oxford University and AstraZenica coronavirus vaccination has been approved for use in the population is very much welcomed and I will continue to press hard for the city to be prioritised in the roll-out programme. In the meantime, it is extremely important that Stoke-on-Trent residents and businesses follow the new rules and carefully consider everything they do, making sure they stay local and minimise travel wherever possible. We need to do everything we can to try and halt this virus in Stoke-on-Trent for the sake of our loved ones.

“As a council we will continue to deliver the essential services people rely on and I will be lobbying for increased economic support for our city at this critical time. We will also be working together with schools in the city following the announcement earlier today from the Secretary of State for Education, Gavin Williamson, which set out an adjustment to the plans for the start of the new school term once we have the full details.

“If we all pull together and remember to follow the guidance we will get through this.”

Paul Edmondson-Jones, director of adult social care, health integration and wellbeing at Stoke-on-Trent City Council said: “This new strain of coronavirus is understood to have a greater transmission rate than other strains and this has led to a sharp increase in the number of cases across the country.

“As a local authority we are doing everything in our power to continue to bring the number of cases down and entering tier 4 restrictions on Thursday, 31 December will enable us to slow the transmission. This situation is deadly serious as you can see from the rising rates elsewhere in the country and the pressure on hospitals this is creating.

“Residents have done a fantastic job over the past few weeks to bring the case numbers down. We now need to build on your immense efforts and continue to act in a really sensible way so we can get back more of the freedoms under the lower tiers. The best way to do this is for everyone to follow the rules and get tested as necessary.

“While under tier 4 restrictions our leisure centres remain closed, Community Testing will continue to be available at our Dimensions and Northwood leisure centre sites. We have in place a huge testing offer as a first line defence against the virus and people can book either a PCR if they have classic Covid-19 symptoms, or a rapid result lateral flow test if they have other symptoms and generally feel unwell at many centres in the city over the whole New Year period.”