Andy Street, a Tory, made the comments on BBC Newsnight. Mr Street has been in the role since May 2017. He said: “At the beginning of this pandemic, the West Midlands was particularly badly affected.
“You look at the graph of how this disease has travelled through the West Midlands, it’s much much more steep up, it’s also steeper down than the national average.
“That reflects the fact that once the lockdown came the compliance here was very good and actually there’s now a tail of new cases that has to be suppressed and I think there is unity across the political leadership in the West Midlands that if there was to be a local spike in a particular place, there would be a local reaction to that.”
Mr Street insisted the directors of public health across the region would be scrutinising risk.
He insisted: “Thus far, the news for us has been good.”
Andy Street is the Mayor of the West Midlands
Police officers in patrol during lockdown in Birmingham
Host Kirsty Wark then sought to clarify the extent of the powers the political leadership in the West Midlands had and whether individual care homes or factories could be locked down.
She asked: “How individual and how widespread is your power?”
Mr Street answered: “It isn’t actually about me, this is about the directors of public health, the director of environmental health, those powers already exist, they could be used an actually there is a case today.
“There’s an individual factory that only has a relatively small number, but the director of public health there is insidious as I say, working with that factory.
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Mr Street was speaking to Kirsty Wark
“So, this is about a local response in a real detailed way and yes, the power is there.”
Workers at a meat processing factory in Tipton are being tested after members of staff were confirmed to be carrying coronavirus.
The George Henry Road site has 600 members of staff according to Birmingham Live.
Dr Lisa McNally, Director of Public Health for Sandwell Council, said: “The management at Tulip Ltd are co-operating fully with public health professionals and members of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to protect the health and wellbeing of their workforce.
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Mr Street speaking at the 2018 Tory conference
“We are dealing with a large workforce of almost 600 people and, despite putting a range of infection control measures in place to protect staff from potential exposure to COVID-19, there have been a number of cases among workers.
“We are therefore liaising with management, Public Health England (PHE) Midlands and HSE to advise on increased social distancing measures.
“We are also working with local NHS colleagues to arrange testing for a group of the workforce that have seen the most cases of COVID-19 over the last month.”
The latest UK coronavirus statistics
Experts believe the risk of transmission from food packaging is very low.
A spokesman from Tulip Ltd said: “Safety is a condition within our business. When restrictions were introduced, and government guidelines issued in relation to coronavirus and food processing sites, our business has been working to these guidelines and liaising with UK Government, the Food Standards Agency, HSE and Public Health England on all matters including social distancing and its application in food processing factories.
“We are working with PHE Midlands to arrange swab testing for a sample group in one particular area of production before deciding upon the need for any further screening.
Spaghetti Junction on the M6 during lockdown
“As soon as we receive test results, we will liaise with health partners to assess whether further actions are necessary.”
According to the most recent daily update, the West Midlands is thought to have had 17,012 cases.
It is behind southeast England, northwest England and London.