Local outbreak control plan 2020 - summary
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The Covid-19 pandemic is the biggest peacetime crisis that the UK has faced in living memory and almost 50,000 people who have tested positive from the virus have sadly died.
In Staffordshire, the county council, our partners and our communities have pulled together like never before and we remain committed to doing everything we can to reduce the risk of a second peak of infections in our county.
With lockdown easing, it is fantastic to see more children back at school, more people back at work and more businesses opening their doors, but it is important than ever that we stick to the rules. This means washing your hands regularly, sticking to the 2 metre social distancing whenever you can and self-isolating and booking a test if you have any Covid-19 symptoms.
As part of the Test and Trace service, if you are contacted by an NHS tracer because you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus, you must self-isolate for 14 days, even if you have no symptoms.
In Staffordshire, we have developed a local outbreak control plan to help identify outbreaks, contain the cases and stop the wider spread of infections.
To make it work we simply cannot afford to let our guard down now.
Cllr Alan White
Leader of the Council
Cllr Johnny McMahon
Cabinet Member for Health, Care and Wellbeing
Dr Richard Harling
Director of Health and Care
In May 2020, the government launched the Test and Trace Service. This will form a central part in the country's and this county's efforts to contain the virus, especially after lockdown is eased.
The objectives are to:
- control the Covid-19 rate of reproduction (R)
- reduce the spread of infection and save lives
- help to return life to as normal as possible, for as many people as possible
The advice to everyone is:
- Wash your hands regularly
- keep your distance. That’s 2 metres where possible and if you can't, keep 1 metre plus including extra safety measures in pubs etc.
- if you have symptoms self-isolate for 7 days and book a test
- if you are contacted by the NHS Test and Trace Service because you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, you must self-isolate for 14 days, whether you have symptoms or not
Local outbreak control plan Back to top
As the lead on Public Health, we have developed our local outbreak control plan. A full version is published on our website.
The plan focuses on prevention, identification and containing any local outbreaks in settings (two or more cases) or clusters of individual cases in one area.
The key focus areas include:
- schools and educational settings
- homeless and more hard to reach groups
We are working with health partners and our colleagues in the district and borough councils to proactively manage any outbreaks.
Cases are mapped and monitored on a daily basis. Organisations can report any suspected outbreak on our outbreak referral page.
The delivery of the plan is being overseen by a councillor-led Covid-19 Board.
Our aims are to:
- reduce the spread of infection in Staffordshire, minimise the number of cases, protect our health and care system, and save lives
- support settings experiencing an outbreak to mitigate the consequences and support services and businesses remain open where it is safe to do so
- provide reassurance, advice and context to members of the public
We are maintaining real-time surveillance for infections in order to identify geographical hotspots and trends.
Where geographical hotspots and/or a rising trend of infections are identified, then we and Public Health England will determine an appropriate response.
This response will be tailored to each outbreak, but may include enhanced level of social distancing and restrictions to activities in some settings. Incidents may also be identified by the Joint Biosecurity Centre and PHE nationally as well as through local intelligence.
From the outset we have been open and honest with Staffordshire residents about the impact of Covid-19 and the steps we all need to take to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
Where outbreaks do occur, we will ensure our communication is timely, proportionate and accurate. The our communications team will lead on communications, linking with district and borough council and NHS communications teams where appropriate.
We are continuing to promote social distancing, good hygiene and the NHS Test and Trace service.
Plans are also in place to provide both broader and targeted communications to manage incidents across the county. This includes messaging via media and social media and working with communities.
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