Barbecue at pub sparks coronavirus outbreak forcing 70 people into isolation
Around 70 people who attended a barbecue at a West Midlands pub have been told to self-isolate due to a coronavirus outbreak.
The Soho Foundry Tavern, in Smethwick, made the decision to close on Thursday after three people, including staff, tested positive for Covid-19 after attending the barbecue on August 2.
Sandwell Council and Public Health England then told 70 people who attended the event to self-isolate until August 16.
Deputy council leader Maria Crompton said: ‘We urgently need to alert anyone who attended the event last weekend to self-isolate until Sunday 16th August. If they have any symptoms they should book a test.
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‘Everyone needs to stay incredibly vigilant. The virus is still out there and the situation remains extremely serious, as this potential outbreak shows.’
The manager of the Soho Foundry Tavern has been praised for their response to the outbreak. Dr Lisa McNally, director of public health at the local authority, said they did ‘what we would want business owners to do in this situation’.
She continued: ‘They voluntarily took the decision to close and contacted us for advice. I would urge all businesses to do the same.
‘Pubs need to be very careful at this time to gather contact details of customers and ensure social distancing at all times.’
Sandwell was previously named as an area of high coronavirus risk due to the increasing infection rate. Last month, the borough had the seventh highest number of weekly infections in the UK, with 30.9 cases per 100,000 people.
The council has since changed its coronavirus advice after seeing a 30% fall in new cases over the last week. However, residents have still been asked not mix with other households inside their homes unless they are in their social bubble.
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