Health chiefs in Staffordshire 'ready to act' on local coronavirus outbreaks
Health bosses in Staffordshire say they are ready to act in the event of a local coronavirus outbreak.
Staffordshire County Council has published a 'Local Outbreak Plan' designed to help officials move swiftly if there is a fresh wave of Covid-19.
It comes after a local lockdown was enforced in Leicester, where coronavirus cases are much higher. Parts of the Leicestershire border come close to Staffordshire, and thousands pass between the two counties every day.
The plan has been outlined ahead of the reopening of pubs and restaurants on Saturday. County officials say they have "plans in place to swiftly identify, contain and stop any local outbreaks across the county".
The authority said it would work with Public Health England, the NHS and district and borough councils to manage any outbreaks.
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Bosses said key areas of focus will include schools, care settings, local businesses, community settings and hard to reach communities such as the homeless.
Measures include "real-time mapping" of cases as part of the test and trace service to allow the county council to identify any clusters or outbreaks (two or more cases) in a setting to allow early intervention and management.
Alan White, Staffordshire County Council’s health boss, said: “As part of our Covid-19 Local Control Plan, we are monitoring cases on a daily basis to ensure we are in a position to mobilise efforts to identify any outbreaks and do everything we can to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
“Throughout this pandemic, Staffordshire has pulled together like never before and our efforts can’t stop now. We are making it clear to people that if they want to protect themselves, their families and their communities they need to stick to the rules. This is not the time to let our guard down.”
People are being reminded to continue washing their hands regularly and to stay two metres apart from others where possible, or 'one metre plus' in pubs and other venues when they reopen.
Councillor White said: “While everyone is looking forward to lockdown easing this weekend we must not become complacent. The risks to our communities and to our local economies are still very much there and we must all do everything we can to stop a second peak of infections.”