Health bosses are awaiting the results of hundreds of pubgoers connected to an outbreak at the Crown and Anchor in Stone, North Staffordshire. Eyewitnesses told how the pub was “packed in like sardines” following a private party, with as many as 200 people at the venue.
Five people tested positive for the invisible killer disease after coming into contact with a person that had visited the pub.
Visitors and staff to the pub between July 16 and 18 are being urged to self-isolate.
Eyewitness Ayrron Robinson said he was “angry” and “frustrated” over how packed the pub was.
He told the BBC: ”We’re talking a hundred, two hundred people in there.
”You can hear them. I’ve got double glazed windows, but you can hear them.”
Dr Richard Harling, director of health and care at Staffordshire County Council, said: “This appears to largely be a young adult demographic, young adults in the 18-21 age bracket.
“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.”
The outbreak has forced four more pubs in the area to close their doors as a precaution.
Stafford Borough Council also confirmed it will cancel the Stone Farmers’ Market, which was due to take place this weekend.
Councillor Ian Parry hit out at the “selfish behaviour” but it is still safe to visit Stone.
He said: “What we’ve seen is partly some selfish behaviour that’s going on and we need to remind ourselves that we are responsible to each other during this crisis.”
Local MP Sir Bill Cash added: ”It shows a degree of lack of concern for other people and it just is completely unacceptable and inappropriate for people to gather in such circumstances.”