Tory leader Alan White said this week the authority was “moving on”, more than two years after Covid-19 hit the country.
Meanwhile, Staffordshire councils have received grants worth millions of pounds from the government to support communities, businesses and services affected by the Covid pandemic.
Councilor White’s comments came at a meeting of the council’s oversight committee on Tuesday, just days before the end of free lateral flow and PCR testing for the general public in England. However, free tests remain available for some people, such as health and social care workers and people at higher risk of becoming seriously ill if they catch Covid-19.
Opposition group leader Councilor Charlotte Atkins said: ‘I understood somewhere that the government money for Covid monitoring is going to run out soon and some local government organizations have asked the government to extend this funding because we are dealing with a very high level of Covid infection. at the moment and it is important that we follow this.
“Is the county council involved in this group of councils asking for this Covid grant to continue?”
Councilor White replied: “We are not part of the group of councils who are appealing to the government for an extension of the Covid grant for monitoring. Around June 2020, it was realized that at some point we were going to have to learn to live with Covid.
“It is part of the process of learning to live with Covid, the suspension of the various impositions that have been made by the government. And I support this movement in general. We are not going to keep pushing for Covid grant money.
“An acquaintance of mine was not feeling particularly well a few weeks ago and it was suggested that person had taken a Covid test. The Covid test came back negative and this person’s colleagues then said “you’re fine, you can come to work”. We forgot that people get sick with other things, so you may feel bad because you have a cold or some condition.
“I appreciate, having had quite a long conversation with the teachers’ unions, that there is concern about the legacy of Covid for people’s health in the classroom. Also, speaking to NHS leaders across the county, there is some concern about Covid and the effect on their ability to deliver services.
“But there comes a time when we just have to move on and in that case we move on.
“We still have local outbreak control meetings, we still have the architecture in place to allow us to resume operations in the event of a variant occurring that will lead to greater mortality. I think we should be assured that is the case.