Council bosses make plea to Government not to place Staffordshire in tier two Covid status

Council bosses in Staffordshire have urged the Government not to place the county into tier two status despite the number of Covid cases rising sharply.

Cases are rising in Staffordshire
Cases are rising in Staffordshire

Staffordshire currently remains in tier one – medium level – of the Government’s new alert system, although Stoke will enter tier 2 on Saturday,

Neighbouring areas such as Wolverhampton have been placed in tier two, which is the higher alert level.

A report to the cabinet confirmed cases in the county have risen to around 120 per day.

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On top of this around 2,500 pupils are having lessons remotely from home after cases of Covid-19 were identified at their schools.

Council leader Alan White said to his fellow cabinet members this week: "Cases of Covid are rising sharply across Staffordshire along with the rest of the country.

"Following intensive lobbying over the past two weeks the county remains in tier one – the medium alert level. To keep Staffordshire open and schools and businesses open it is up to all of us to do our bit – wash your hands, wear a face covering, social distance."

Contact tracing

A report to the council added: "The number of cases is particularly high in Newcastle-under-Lyme, due in part to an outbreak at Keele University, as well as in Stafford, due in part to an outbreak at HMP Stafford, and in South Staffordshire.

"We continue to operate local contact tracing to maximise the number of cases and contacts isolated and to identify common exposures that need to be managed."

Councillor White added: “I hope through this working we are able to limit the spread of the virus across the county and keep ourselves at the medium alert level rather than having to go to the high.

"If we do end up having to go to the high alert level then we will do our best to bring us back to the medium level as soon as possible.

“My principle concern as the leader of the county council is the impact on the economy, loneliness and isolation, mental health and physical health so it is vitally important we work hard to limit the spread.”

Dr Johnny McMahon, cabinet member for health, care and wellbeing, added: "We will make every effort to remain in tier one.

“The winter will be difficult – I don’t think there’s any way around that. We just have to keep the momentum up and keep spirits up, keep supporting each other and there will be light at the end of the tunnel.

“We will see ourselves through this."

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