12th Aug, 2020

West Midlands’ region’s local Covid-19 outbreak plans revealed

Laura Kearns 1st Jul, 2020 Updated: 1st Jul, 2020

OUTBREAK control plans for the area have been revealed.

Warwickshire County Council, alongside Coventry City Council, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council and the West Midlands Combined Authority is one of 11 groups to trial the test and trace programme.

The recently revealed plans aim to reduce new cases while managing outbreaks in settings including care homes, schools, children’s homes, workplaces and homeless hostels.

Once cases are confirmed specialist teams working alongside Public Health England, will provide advice and support to safely manage coronavirus. Teams will also make sure testing for is available for people who need it and can be rapidly organised to manage outbreaks as well as providing extra support to help people to self-isolate.

As part of the plan it is also set out what steps will be taken to control the spread locally if numbers grow and steps are required to prevent the rapid growth of the pandemic.

The authorities say they will work with local communities to get across the importance of continued social distancing, testing and self-isolating if you are ill or have been in contact with a case.

The plans will be overseen and have been approved by each local authority’s Covid-19 Health Protection Board which consists of representatives from Public Health England, NHS, Trading Standards, Environmental Health and Social Care Education.

Warwickshire County Council leader 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.”

Coventry City Council leader George Duggins said residents must play their part.

He added: “Test and trace will help prevent transmission of coronavirus and we will work alongside all our partners to localise the national contact 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, while 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.”

And Solihull Council leader Ian Courts said: “Our main aim 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.”

Visit www.staysafecsw.info to find out more about the plans.

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