Pub-goers urged to self-isolate as coronavirus outbreak linked to Black Country barbecue
Customers who went to a barbecue at a Black Country pub are being urged to self-isolate after three people who were there tested positive for coronavirus.
Around 70 people went to the barbecue at the Soho Foundry Tavern in Smethwick last Sunday, according to Sandwell council.
The pub next to Black Patch Park on Foundry Lane closed voluntarily on Thursday after three people who were there tested positive for Covid-19.
At least one member of staff was among the three people who tested positive.
Sandwell has had one of the highest rates of infection in the country over the past month, with the majority of cases centred around Smethwick and West Bromwich, although Sandwell Council yesterday relaxed its advice after the number of new infections dropped by 30 per cent over the past week.
Public health bosses have now urged anyone who was at the barbecue to self-isolate until next Sunday (August 16) after potentially being exposed to the virus.
Anyone who shows symptoms of the disease, such as a continuous cough, fever or a change in taste or smell, has been told to book a test immediately.
A walk-in testing site was set up in St Pauls Road, Smethwick, last week to help residents in the borough get tested quickly.
Director of Public Health in Sandwell, Dr Lisa McNally, praised the landlady of the pub for voluntarily closing and notifying the authority.
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She said: “They did exactly what we would want business owners to do in this situation.
“They voluntarily took the decision to close and contacted us for advice. I would urge all businesses to do the same.
“Pubs need to be very careful at this time to gather contact details of customers and ensure social distancing at all times."
Councillor Maria Crompton, the deputy leader of Sandwell Council, said: “We urgently need to alert anyone who attended the event last weekend to self-isolate until Sunday 16th August. If they have any symptoms they should book a test.
“Everyone needs to stay incredibly vigilant - the virus is still out there and the situation remains extremely serious – as this potential outbreak shows.
“I would like to ask employers to be supportive too – if someone needs to self-isolate for the required time to comply with the safety guidance, please do all you can to accommodate that. "
Last month Staffordshire County Council issued a similar plea after an outbreak of Covid-19 at a pub in Stone.
A total of 22 people tested positive after attending the Crown and Anchor pub in the town over the same weekend.