People in Lichfield and Burntwood who might be “silent spreaders” of coronavirus are being urged to take tests.
Staffordshire County Council said it would be rolling out COVID-19 testing hubs to tackle soaring numbers of cases.
The seven-day infection rate across the county now stands at 500 per 100,000 people.
Cllr Johnny McMahon, cabinet member for health, said people should get tested even if they have no symptoms.
“Although people should be staying at home as much as possible, some residents do need to travel for work, to provide care for an elderly relative or simply to get the family food shop – and it is these people in particular that we want to get tested on a regular basis.
“We know that one in three people who have the virus have no symptoms. It is vital that we identify these people if we are going to to break the chain of infection and stop the alarming spread of cases, which has more than doubled in Staffordshire since before Christmas.
“My message now to everyone is to only go out if you really have to and if you do need to leave home on a regular basis make sure you book a COVID test.
“They are easy, quick and free and might just help to protect the life of someone you care for.”Cllr Johnny McMahon, Staffordshire County Council
Staffordshire is taking part in the national roll out of the lateral flow tests, which offer results in about 30 minutes.
The county council says it aims to test thousands of asymptomatic people every day by February.
People can book a test only if you have no symptoms online, but if there is no availability, they can book a traditional test at one of the national sites at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus and choose the option ‘my council has asked me to book a test‘. Anyone with symptoms should only book a national test.
The county council is also identifying areas each week which have seen the biggest increase and everyone in these areas will be asked to get tested.
Dr Richard Harling, Staffordshire’s director of health and care, said:
“The new more contagious strain of the virus is really pushing up cases across the country and increasing the risk to more people’s lives.
“Staying home, sticking to the rules on hands, face and space and getting tested if you need to be out and about is our best chance of curbing the spread of infection and stopping our hospitals becoming overwhelmed.
“We are now at a critical time in the pandemic. We all must do everything we can to stop the spread of infection as, while the new vaccines bring much hope for future months, we cannot lose focus on the current situation and the continued efforts which must still be made to protect both lives and livelihoods in Staffordshire.”Dr Richard Harling