12 people test positive for coronavirus after graduation party at pub

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Twelve people have been infected with Covid-19 after a graduation party took place at a Broxtowe pub.

Public health bosses are warning people about the dangers of mixing with more than one household and how easily the virus can spread by not social distancing.

The Royal Oak in Main Road, Watnall, was closed after a coronavirus outbreak, which has been linked to a graduation party that took place in the pub's annex.

Public Health Nottinghamshire is now monitoring the situation but feel they have contained the virus and it has not spread to other pub users and the wider community.

The pub closed temporarily last week and has since reopened.

Twenty people are believed to have attended the party, with 12 people testing positive for Covid-19.

Jonathan Gribbin, director of Public Health Nottinghamshire, said: "What we are seeing on a daily basis is outbreaks of varying sizes and one is in relation to a party at a pub.

"We have established the party took part in an annex not the main pub and we are satisfied that it was limited exposure to other customers in the pub.

"There are small outbreaks in a number of settings - some relate to transmission in households, some are returning travellers and some in residential care.

"But for the most part those who are testing positive are young and working age - 18 to 35.

Residents are concerned about parties in Lenton during the global pandemic

Residents are concerned about parties in Lenton during the global pandemic (Image: Nottingham Post/Marie Wilson)

"We are concerned about any setting where multiple households are coming together and undermine the importance of adhering to all the guidance.

"I want to remind young people that the people they might end up exposing to the virus are friends and family and the consequences might be more serious for the community they live in and the jobs that people depend on."

Councillor Milan Radulovic, leader of Broxtowe Borough Council, said: "Broxtowe Borough Council are satisfied the measures were in place at the venue but we do not know if people were obeying the rules and the consequences of that is 12 people have tested positive.

"I am starting to get really nervous that as incidents rise we will be on the government watchlist and potential lockdown.

"People have got to take this seriously and act responsibly.

Milan radulovic

Councillor Milan Radulovic, leader of Broxtowe Borough Council

"We are asking them to wear face masks when out and limit social activity and obey the rules and guidelines. They are there to help, not limit, freedom.

"It is a very real threat. Now is the most important time to see it off and finish it off, not transmit it to other people.

"We are going to start looking at restrictions on pubs; that includes if they refuse to improve, we will be looking at issuing closure orders. That's if they do not obey social distancing.

"We will be looking at all our options."

The pub's landlord Zach Towers, 31, explained the party took place on Saturday, August 29, in a cabin at the site which is "not even joined to the main pub".

"They booked it months in advance, I think they booked it before lockdown, to be fair," he said.

"We spoke to them and limited the numbers. The function room can hold 120 people. The outside area has got probably another 50.

"There was a maximum capacity of 30; there was probably no more than 30 at any time.

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"The cabin inside; we looked at the CCTV, it wasn't busy. There was no way more than 30."

The pub was later informed of single confirmed cases on the following Tuesday evening, September 1, and then in the day time the following day.

"Up until this point I have never, ever had a phone call from track and trace," said Mr Towers.

"We didn't reopen on the Wednesday, we closed on the Tuesday night and we reopened on the Friday night (September 4).

"Last week we (pub staff) were all tested. Everybody came back negative."

Mr Towers said the pub had gone "above and beyond" in temporarily closing.

A statement published last week on the Royal Oak's Facebook page outlined the cleaning that had taken place.

It said there had been two deep cleans of the pub in the space of 48 hours - and reminded customers of the track and trace system.

Meanwhile, a school in Kimberley is investigating whether any of its pupils attended a graduation party that was shut down last Saturday (September 5).

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