We have published our COVID-19 Local Outbreak Management Plan, which is designed to prevent and deal with any outbreaks of coronavirus in places such as care homes, schools and early years settings, communities and workplaces.
The Council has been allocated £863k by the Department of Health and Social Care from a £300m government fund to support national and regional efforts to keep the virus under control. Supporting the test, trace and isolate programme, we will work with the NHS, partners and stakeholders to provide a preventative, prompt and coordinated local approach.
The Local Outbreak Management Plan builds on systems already in place to in the first instance prevent outbreaks; and to identify and suppress any outbreaks before they gain momentum.
As part of this work, councils will also be expected to ensure testing capacity is deployed effectively to high-risk locations.
The South Gloucestershire Outbreak Management Plan went before the Council’s Health and Wellbeing Board on Thursday 25 June and has been launched today with a video introduction from Sara Blackmore, South Gloucestershire’s Director of Public Health, which is available here https://youtu.be/XvYL9orlCZ8
Sara said: “Outbreak Management Plans are the mechanism for anticipating, preventing and isolating incidents and outbreaks in a local area. Our outbreak management plan is a starting point and we will refine it as we move forward and learn more about the disease and its impact on our communities.
“We are working hard to monitor data on cases of COVID-19 in the area so that we can respond quickly if outbreaks occur. We are making sure residents and businesses, schools and care homes know what to do.
She goes on to say: “The role every resident in South Gloucestershire plays in the coming months is vitally important. The number of cases of COVID-19 has reduced due to the efforts of all of you, but the virus is still circulating. We must continue to follow social distancing guidance to prevent the number of cases rising again and to protect the most vulnerable.
“Restrictions are easing and as individuals we will be trusted to continue to act responsibly by following national guidance and keeping ourselves, friends and family as safe as possible. Please, do the right thing and play your part.”
Oversight of the Local Outbreak Management Plan is provided by the South Gloucestershire Member-led Local Outbreak Engagement Board, chaired by the Council Leader, Cllr Toby Savage, which will play a critical role in engaging with local residents, communities and leaders to build and ensure understanding of the public health actions required ahead of and during any outbreak management to control infection and prevent transmission of the virus.
Cllr Savage said: “Safety remains the top priority for the Council. We are still at a critical point in the COVID-19 pandemic and even though numbers of cases are thankfully reducing, everyone needs to continue to adhere to government restrictions.
“We are doing everything we can to help residents and businesses get back to normal but as has been seen elsewhere in the country, if we don’t follow the public health guidance, we run the risk of more outbreaks so it is critical that people continue to do the right thing: maintain social distancing, practise good hand hygiene, and, if you have symptoms, self-isolate and get tested.”
To view the plan please visit www.southglos.gov.uk/LOMP