Plans released – How Stoke-on-Trent City Council would respond to a localised outbreak of COVID-19

A live and ongoing plan which sets out how Stoke-on-Trent City Council would prevent and respond to a localised outbreak of COVID-19 has been published.

Stoke-on-Trent’s Local Outbreak Control Plan will be triggered where there are suspected or confirmed COVID-19 outbreaks in any setting or community within the city.

The plan, which was a requirement of Government to all local authorities, outlines measures to prevent, manage and contain outbreaks of Coronavirus and protect the public’s health. It builds upon existing relationships and processes in place with partner agencies across Stoke-on-Trent.

It outlines how complex cases will be managed in high-risk places, locations and communities, in particular care homes and schools. It also outlines local testing capacity, use of data to identify and proactively manage outbreaks, and contact tracing in complex settings.

‘Outbreaks’ are defined by Public Health England as ‘two or more suspected and/or confirmed cases associated within the same setting and with onset during a 14-day period or a greater than expected occurrence of COVID-19 compared with the usual level for a particular place and time.’

Councillor Abi Brown, leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council and chair of the member led board at the city council that is overseeing the Local Outbreak Control Plan said: “COVID-19 has had a significant impact on all of our lives and sadly, we will be living with the threat of the virus for many months to come.

“Whilst this plan outlines how Stoke-on-Trent will best respond to outbreaks, prevention of the virus is absolutely vital in making sure the number of new cases continues to decline in the city. We must all play our part in this by continuing to follow social distancing guidelines and ensure we wash our hands regularly, to avoid a second wave of the pandemic. If you develop symptoms of coronavirus make sure you get a test and isolate at home.”

“For this to work effectively, we’re relying on working closely with our community to make sure that we’re can co-ordinate our responses in the best way possible. We know people in Stoke-on-Trent have really worked hard to listen to guidance and we know that we’ll see communities step up again to minimise the risk whenever possible.”

Delivery of the Local Outbreak Control Plan will be co-ordinated by the city’s director of public health, Jacquie Ashdown, working with a Local Health Protection Board at the city council. All information (including outbreak notifications) and national guidance will be co-ordinated through the board. This allows for a co-ordinated response allowing tasks to be allocated in the best way.

Stoke-on-Trent has received more than £2million from a £300million Government fund to support delivery of the Local Outbreak Control Plan.

The Local Outbreak Control Plan can be found here: https://www.stoke.gov.uk/info/20095/coronavirus_covid-19_closures_and_information/357/local_outbreak_plan

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