Staff at Wolverhampton brewery Marston’s have been thanked for volunteering to take part in a pilot coronavirus testing programme.

Nearly 100 employees at Marston’s volunteered to take part, with staff from the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Public Health team setting up a temporary test centre outdoors at the brewery and supporting workers to correctly administer the self swabbing test kits. No positive cases of Covid-19 were found.

The City of Wolverhampton Council carried out the initiative last week to develop a blueprint for other organisations to do the same. This is particularly important given that rising numbers of cases have been observed in the city and the wider region in recent weeks.

John Denley, Wolverhampton's Director of Public Health, said: "The steady increase in cases in recent weeks shows us that coronavirus remains prevalent in Wolverhampton and the wider region, and increasing testing is key to us being able to tackle the spread of the virus.

“This was an important learning experience and we really appreciate the involvement of staff at Marston’s. The suggestion to do this was really well received and the results provide good reassurance for Marston’s and compliment the excellent infection prevention measures the business has already introduced.”

Nicky Barnes, Marston’s Supply Chain Health and Safety Manager, said: “Marston’s and its volunteers at the Wolverhampton site were pleased to be able to support the pilot scheme and take the opportunity to be tested in the workplace.

“We are obviously very pleased with the negative results and hope that this goes someway to demonstrating that we have effective controls in place to minimise the spread of the virus on site.”

Symptoms of Covid-19 include a fever, a new continuous cough or a loss or change to their sense of taste or smell. To book a test, please visit Coronavirus (COVID-19) or call 119. The test is free, takes less than a minute and results are delivered the following day. Anyone who tests positive for Covid-19 will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace and will be asked to share information about people that have been close contacts recently. 

The latest information and guidance around coronavirus is available at GOV.UK and on the council’s own coronavirus pages at Coronavirus advice and information. There’s lots of advice on how people can protect themselves and their families from coronavirus from the NHS at Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The council’s Stay Safe, Be Kind campaign offers clear and simple advice about how people can help themselves, and how they can support others who may be particularly vulnerable at this time. For more information, please visit Stay Safe, Be Kind