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Moorlands leader praises 'fantastic' Covid effort

Published on 22 June 2021

Covid surge testing and a focus on vaccinations in Leek and Cheddleton has seen the number of positive cases fall sharply after a 'fantastic' response from the local community.

The measures, including PCR tests both at schools and in the community and a pop-up vaccination clinic, were brought in to curb the spread after an outbreak linked to schools saw more than 120 people test positive with the majority of cases being the Delta variant of the virus which is believed to transmit more rapidly.

Extra tests were made available last week for school and community testing and around 7,000 people came forward to take the test.

Door-to-door deliveries took place in Leek West and Cheddleton alongside testing centres at various community location including Brough Park Leisure Centre, Sainsbury's and Leek Market.

Councillor Sybil Ralphs, Leader of Staffordshire Moorlands District Council, said: "The response we've seen from people in Leek and Cheddleton has been fantastic and I'd like to say a big thank you to everyone who has taken a test, had a vaccine at the pop-up clinic and helped co-ordinate the magnificent partnership response to managing this outbreak.

"It's been a terrific effort which has shown great results. But we cannot be complacent and I would urge everyone across the Moorlands to keep following the safety guidance that's there to keep us all safe. We're making good progress so let's not risk undoing it now."

Over 2,000 first doses of Covid vaccine were administered in the last 14 days via the pop-up clinic at Leek Moorlands Hospital which was very well attended.

The Mobile Injuries Unit at the site has reopened this week - news which was welcomed by Councillor Ralphs.

Councillor Ralphs added: "The provision of responsive, adaptable local health services has never been more important as the pop-up vaccination clinic we were able to provide at Leek Moorlands Hospital clearly demonstrates.

"So I'm delighted that the months and months of conversations and behind the scenes work carried out by both myself and our MP Karen Bradley, the reassurances we were given about the Unit reopening when Covid restrictions allowed have come to fruition.

"It's the result we have worked hard to achieve and it is most definitely the right decision for Leek. I'm particularly pleased that whilst it will initially open from 9am to 5pm, the Midlands Partnership Foundation Trust has committed to hours of 8am to 8pm as soon as possible as they promised."