As many as 200 people have had to have coronavirus tests taken after a major outbreak linked to a pub which was "packed in like sardines" – and 150 more have also needed tests following a nearby private party.
So far the number of people to test positive after visiting the Crown and Anchor in Stone, North Staffordshire, between July 16 and 18, and a private party has risen to 16, it has been confirmed.
This week we reported how the pub was letting "everyone in" like it was "any other Saturday night", according to witnesses.
These include five people who tested positive for Covid-19 after coming into contact with someone else who had visited the pub, reports StokeonTrentLive.
Punters who were at the venue are now being told to self-isolate and urgently get swabs done.
Four more pubs in the town have since shut their doors as a precaution after the outbreak.
At least 10 drinkers who visited the The Crown and Anchor over the weekend of July 16-18 have had a confirmed case of coronavirus and one of the number is also believed to have been at a private bash.
Dr Richard Harling, director of health and care at Staffordshire County Council, said: “They are from all over the place – 13 in Staffordshire and three in Stoke on Trent.
“Five are from the Stone area, with three from elsewhere in Stafford Borough. There are another three in Stoke-on-Trent, three in the Staffordshire Moorlands and two from Newcastle-under-Lyme.
“We are now having conversations with all the cases to make sure they are self-isolating - and to identify their contacts and have conversations with their contacts to make sure they are also self-isolating.
“We are not currently considering any restrictions in Stone or elsewhere. We will keep that under review, depending on how many other cases we get.
“Of the 498 people tested on Wednesday we have had 130 results back which are negative which is good. There are 368 results still to come.
“We will take appropriate action depending on how many more cases come and we are happy to update the community when that information comes through.”
Teenager Simon Lowe, aged 19, from Meir, said: “I was out in Stone that weekend and my employer has told me to get tested because the people I was out with that night went into the Crown and Anchor.
“I didn’t go in the Crown and Anchor because I could see it was rammed. I chose not to go in just from looking at it.
"I’m glad that I didn’t go in but I have been in contact with people who have been in. I’ve had no symptoms.”
Residents can also get tested at centres in Stoke-on-Trent and Stafford.