Coronavirus: 19 people test positive in outbreak linked to Staffordshire pub

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Nineteen people have tested positive for coronavirus after an outbreak linked to a Staffordshire pub.

About 1,000 people came forward for testing after local health chiefs urged anyone who had been working or drinking at the Crown and Anchor in Stone on 16 to 18 July to get checked.

The venue had not been enforcing social distancing, with footage which later emerged showing hundreds of drinkers packed into its beer garden.

A person who tested positive had visited the pub and then attended a private social gathering, further spreading the virus, Staffordshire County Council has previously said.

A mobile testing unit was subsequently set up in the town and spent its last day carrying out tests on Sunday. Final results are expected early next week, according to the council.

The 19 people who tested positive had all visited the pub or met others who had, said director of health and care Richard Harling on Sunday.

Everyone who has been in close contact with those tested positive is being contacted and advised to stay home for 14 days even if they have had a negative test result and do not have symptoms.

Dr Harling said: “The gathering that caused the spike is now a few weeks ago, so we are now looking more at incidents where pub-goers may have passed the virus on to a friend or loved one.

“All those who have been in close contact with the 19 confirmed cases are being contacted and if you are one of these people you must stay home for 14 days, even if you feel well or have tested negative for the virus.”

The council reminded everyone that failing to comply with the guidance could cause a more severe local outbreak.

Dr Harling said: “This outbreak shows how quickly the virus can spread when people don’t social distance, so it is important that everyone in Staffordshire follows the guidance to help prevent a second peak in infections here.”

The Crown and Anchor has since temporarily closed to “review [its] risk assessment” and an “overwhelming amount of people” visited on Saturday, 18 July.

Meanwhile, a cluster of 13 coronavirus cases linked to a pub in Aberdeen is investigated by public health officials.

NHS Grampian said the cases are associated with The Hawthorn Bar in the city’s centre.

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