Stoke-on-Trent City Council leader writes to Prime Minister over Covid-19 testing

Leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council Abi Brown

A letter has been sent to the Prime Minister over the access to Covid-19 testing in North Staffordshire.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council leader Abi Brown has already written to the Health Secretary Matt Hancock about making the coronavirus testing facility at the bet365 stadium open to all local residents.

At present only certain key workers, such as NHS staff, police and fire officers, can access the testing site located at Stoke City's home ground in Trentham.

All other residents have to go to other locations, with some people reporting being referred to testing facilities as far away as Northern Ireland.

A "pop-up" testing site was set up at bet365's headquarters in Etruria earlier this month, but that has now closed.

With the City Council reporting that the Trentham test centre is not running at capacity, they want to know why its service cannot be opened up to the wider community.

Yesterday the Government announced that anyone over 5 could apply to be tested for Covid-19 if they felt they had symptoms, but they too will face trips out of the Potteries if they want to get a test.

Councillor Brown says it's not good enough: "Today I've written to the Prime Minister to ask that he considers Stoke-on-Trent as a testing centre for residents of the city and North Staffordshire, because I believe we should have a testing centre within our area.

"I'm keen to continue working with colleagues to push for that to happen."

"At the moment access for testing is only available for local government workers, NHS, and police and fire."

"I believe very strongly it should be available for, not only key workers, but now the Government have announced wider testing across the populous, for residents of Stoke-on-Trent in general."

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