Testing for Covid-19 extended in Stone after hundreds turn up to mobile unit

The number of days a mobile testing unit set up in Stone to deal with the number of people needing to be tested for Coronavirus has been extended.

The mobile testing unit (MTU) was due to open for two days on Wednesday and Friday but it will now run for four days, from Thursday 30 July to Sunday 2 August.

The news comes after the testing centre saw hundreds of people turn up to get test, after a confirmed Covid-19 outbreak at the Crown and Anchor pub.

More than 300 people were tested in the first two hours, with queues forming as people took advantage of the free testing on offer in the town.

Around 10 people so far have tested positive as a result of attending the pub on 16, 17 and 18 July, or having been in close contact with someone who was in the pub on that weekend.


The testing centre will be open from 11am to 3pm on Thursday and Friday, and from 10.30am to 3.30pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Testing will be by appointment only, and people can arrive on foot or by car. To book an appointment, visit https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test.

People who aren’t experiencing symptoms will need to choose the ‘I am in a lockdown area with a coronavirus outbreak’ option, even though there is no lockdown in Stone.

Staffordshire County Council’s Director for Public Health Dr Richard Harling said: “We have had a brilliant response to the walk-in testing, and I want to thank the community for coming forward to be tested. This testing will give us a much better picture of the extent of infection and help us to control the outbreak.

“By switching to a booking system, this should prevent some of the queues we have seen today and reduce waiting times for people wanting to get a test. So for anyone who hasn’t being tested today, we are encouraging them to go online and book an appointment to be tested. This could be at the testing centre that’s been set up in Stone, or one of the exiting sites at Bet 356 Stadium in Stoke or Beaconside in Stafford. Booking online is simple—you just go to the website, make your way through the stages, and choose the ‘I am in a ‘lockdown’ area’ option, although to be clear, there is no lockdown in Stone.”

“We need as many people as possible to come and get tested—so please don’t delay in booking a test.

“We’re doing everything we can to prevent outbreaks and stop the virus from spreading. Residents can help by continuing to follow the rules to stop the spread of Covid-19—washing hands regularly, keeping your distance, and wearing face coverings in shops and on public transport.”

The county council is encouraging these people to get tested:

  • Anyone who may have been drinking in the Crown and Anchor on the 16,17 and 18 July
  • Anyone who may have been in close contact with someone who went to the pub on that weekend.
  • People who may have been drinking in Stone on that weekend and are currently experiencing Covid-19 symptoms

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