As one of eleven national Beacons for the Test and Trace programme, Warwickshire County Council, alongside Coventry City Council, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council and the West Midlands Combined Authority, have today launched their Local Outbreak Control Plans.
The plans set out the approach taken by each authority to achieve their aim of reducing new community cases of Covid-19, whilst managing the most complex incidents of Covid-19 outbreaks in their communities. These include managing outbreaks in specific settings such care homes, schools, early years, children’s homes, workplaces and homeless hostels
Once cases are confirmed, specialist teams, working alongside Public Health England, will provide each setting with advice and practical support to safely manage Covid-19. Teams will also make sure testing for Covid-19 is available for people who need it and can be rapidly mobilised to manage outbreaks as well as providing extra support to help people to self-isolate.
Plans also set out what steps will be taken to control the spread of Covid-19 at local level if numbers grow and further steps are required to prevent the rapid growth of the pandemic locally, working with national government.
Working with local communities to get across the importance of continued social distancing, getting tested through NHS 119 and self-isolating if you are ill or have been in contact with a case is also a key part of local plans.
The plans will be overseen and have been approved by each local authority Covid-19 Health Protection Board which consists of representatives from Public Health England, NHS, Trading Standards, Environmental Health, Social Care Education.
Talking about the Local Outbreak Plans, Leader of Warwickshire County Council, Councillor Izzi Seccombe said:
“Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire councils are working with the NHS and other partners on a co-ordinated approach to reduce the number of new community cases of Covid-19 to zero in the shortest time possible. We are best placed to do this because of our local expertise and experience of working with our communities and our commitment to our people.
“Over the past few months our communities and neighbourhoods have come together to support each other to do the right thing and keep people safe. It’s as important now to continue to do this as we learn to live with Covid-19.”
Leader of Coventry City Council, Councillor George Duggins said:
“Test and Trace will help prevent transmission of coronavirus and we will work alongside all our partners to localise the national contract tracing work to ensure it is relevant for the local community we serve.
“We will act quickly and deliver what is needed in the fastest way possible to achieve the best outcomes for Coventry communities. Our local outbreak plan will help us combat complex cases of the virus and we will work with Public Health England to investigate and control outbreaks, whilst also supporting Coventry residents to ensure safe and effective self-isolation.
If we don’t all play our part with test and trace, then we won’t get back to normal and risk another outbreak of coronavirus. This could also mean more restricted lockdowns and more time away from our family and friends.”
Councillor Ian Courts, Leader of Solihull Council, said:
“Our main aim as part of the Beacon is prevention, which is why we will be redoubling our efforts to get across the main messages of social distancing, minimising interaction, washing your hands frequently and if you think you’re ill, get tested and self-isolate.
“Our communities have responded brilliantly over the past months. Now working together across the sub-region, as we take steps to bring about the recovery we all need, to remind everyone we aren’t out of the woods with Covid-19. It is still around, which is why we have produced outbreak control plans to make sure we can quickly identify and isolate cases to help stop a second spike and protect our vulnerable residents.”
All the Local Outbreak Plans and information on how we are keeping our communities safer can be found at www.staysafecsw.info