Stoke-on-Trent taxi drivers urged to take tests and appropriate steps after 11 new COVID-19 cases

A temporary mobile coronavirus testing centre will return to Normacot on Thursday after results revealed 11 positive cases out of nearly 400 tests last weekend.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council is working with the NHS to open the temporary testing centre at Alexandra Infants School again, between 10am and 3pm on Thursday. It comes after 398 people had tests at the Melville Road school last Friday and Saturday.

The results from the tests last weekend show that of the 398 people who were swabbed, 372 tested negative, the results are awaited on 15 cases, and 11 people tested positive. Including tests at bet365, it means that a total of 45 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in Normacot between 5-16 August. Coronavirus cases are monitored on seven-day totals, and city-wide the seven-day total of positive cases between 10-16 August is 55, of which 35 are from the Normacot area.

Council leader Abi Brown said: “We’re continuing to monitor test results and the number of positive cases extremely closely. We had seen the total number of cases in the city plateau at around 40 per seven-days, but this has now increased again.

“We have taken the sensible and considered precaution to reopen the temporary testing centre in Normacot, to give every opportunity for people in this area to be tested. We want people who have not been showing symptoms of the virus and who didn’t go for testing last Friday and Saturday to attend. Although residents who have symptoms and haven’t been tested must stay at home and book on to the regional testing centre at the bet365 Stadium.

“What we know from patterns in the data so far is that a number of cases are concentrated in a number of households and in a number of streets. We are asking that people do not move household-to-household at this time. This is not a local lockdown, and if people continue to treat this in the serious and responsible way that they have been doing, it will allow us to do all we can to trace and contain the spread of the virus."

The council are requesting that taxi drivers make sure that they get a test and make sure that they put steps in place to protect themselves and their passengers. This includes:

  • Washing your hands regularly or keep a sanitising gel in your taxi, so you can wipe your hands frequently.

  • Keep some windows open as often as possible to boost ventilation and dilute any potential hazard. Control the air conditioning to bring in fresh air and avoid recycling air within the vehicle.

  • Keep a 2m distance – so passengers should always sit in the back of your cab on the passenger side.

  • Let passengers handle their own bags and belongings whenever possible.

  • Store any personal waste, such as tissues and cleaning wipes in disposable rubbish bags. Each driver should ensure they use a new disposable rubbish bag each shift.

  • Use disinfectant wipes on seatbelts, door handles or any touched surface.

  • Accept card payments and pre-payments, so you’re handling cash as rarely as possible.

  • Keep records of passengers for three weeks.

The council are also urging anyone who can’t get to the station at Melville Road school tomorrow, to book a coronavirus test at the local testing centre at the bet365 Stadium. It is located in Stanley Matthews Way, Trentham Lakes, ST4 4EG. Bookings can be made via, or ringing 119, where help is available in other languages.

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