Northumberland’s Local Outbreak Prevention Plan published
03 Jul 2020
Northumberland County Council’s has published its Local Outbreak Prevention and Control Plan outlining actions that will be taken where confirmed or suspected cases of Coronavirus are identified within priority settings in the county.
Developed to support the national NHS Test and Trace programme, the plan sets out how possible outbreaks in settings such as schools, care homes or businesses will be identified, allowing action to quickly be taken, preventing the spread of any infection and ultimately saving lives.
The proposed plan will be discussed by the Council’s Health and Wellbeing Board on Thursday 9 July, as part of work to minimise and control any outbreaks of the virus.
Five priority areas have been identified as part of the Northumberland plan:
- Care homes and residential settings;
- Educational settings;
- Complex individuals and communities such as homeless, drug and alcohol service users;
- Complex settings such as hostels, refuges, HMP Northumberland, and secure units;
- Workplaces and businesses.
Liz Morgan Director of Public Health at Northumberland County Council said: “Our Local Outbreak Plan is in place to ensure we are well prepared to effectively contain the virus and reduce its spread in the community.
“Our plan ensures we are ready to take action where required, to contain the situation in specific settings, locations or communities and to enable national lockdown easing, helping us return to a new normal. This will be a dynamic document which will change as new evidence and thinking emerges and we learn from situations in other areas.
“I’m pleased to say that numbers of new cases in Northumberland continue to decline but we’re nowhere near being out of the woods. It's absolutely critical that we all follow the rules if we’re going to keep this infection under control.
“Our residents can minimise the risk of catching coronavirus by washing hands regularly for 20 seconds, complying with social distancing, being alert to symptoms and then self isolating and getting a test if symptomatic, and responding to NHS Test and Trace if positive or if contact traced.”
Cllr Veronica Jones, cabinet member for adult wellbeing and health added: “The health and wellbeing of people across Northumberland is our absolute priority. By developing a Local Outbreak Prevention and Control Plan we can protect our communities across the county.
“We are working closely with partners and will support residents, care homes, schools and key locations, helping them to understand how they can play their part in preventing outbreaks by reinforcing social distancing, good hygiene and supporting vulnerable members of their community.
“The pandemic is not over and we all have a crucial role to play in fighting it. Anyone who has a cough, temperature, loss of taste or smell should get tested immediately and isolate their household. And if they test positive, they should isolate their household for 14 days.”
The full plan can be found here