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Hampshire's Local Outbreak Control Plan

4 minute read
Hampshire's Local Outbreak Control Plan

Published by the Eagle Radio News Team at 6:01pm 2nd July 2020.

Hampshire County Council has published a plan outlining how it will work to identify and contain local outbreaks of coronavirus. 

The Local Outbreak Control Plan sets out how the council will work closely with key partners including the NHS and district councils to protect the public’s health while supporting Hampshire residents and businesses to return to a healthy normal.

Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Keith Mans, said: as lockdown restrictions increasingly ease, it will be critical to ensure the county has a robust mechanism in place to help prevent the spread of the virus:

"And move swiftly if it starts to take hold again - either in an individual setting such as a care home or school, or in a specific geographical location, such as a town centre.

“Our ambition is simple – to build on the progress made to date in controlling the spread of the virus, and to take decisive action should cases start to rise again. 

“The key to success lies with us all.

Through the co-ordinated efforts of a range of organisations across local and national Government, the NHS, Public Health England, businesses and employers, and community partners,

"Hampshire residents can be confident that everything will be done to help life to return to as normal as possible, in a way that is safe, protects our health and care systems, as well as our local economy.” 

In line with national guidance, the Hampshire Plan covers a number of priority areas including: 

  • Care Homes and schools - measures are already in place in care homes and schools across the county to prevent the risk of infection. Ongoing monitoring is required to ensure any further action needed to manage an outbreak and protect lives is quickly identified and implemented.
  • High risk places - a wide range of places such as sheltered housing, airports, transport hubs, prisons, hospitals, tourist venues and higher risk workplaces will be monitored, and action taken to manage any local outbreaks
  • Vulnerable people – work has already been undertaken across the county to identify vulnerable groups of people and to ensure they are supported and this work will continue

A new Hampshire Local Outbreak Engagement Board will review recommendations made by the Director of Public Health, on any local action that may be required and they are responsible for communicating relevant information to the public in an effective and timely way. 

One key aspect of the plan is to support the rollout of the national Test and Trace programme across Hampshire. 

This is to make sure that anyone who develops coronavirus symptoms has access to a test quickly as well as to help trace those who have been in contact with anyone who tests positive. 

Hampshire Local Outbreak Engagement Board will be responsible for making sure testing is accessible to everyone. 

This may include:

  • Delivering tests to isolated individuals
  • Establishing local pop-up sites
  • Hosting mobile testing units at ‘high-risk’ locations such as a factory, where people may be working closely together.

Hampshire County Council’s Director of Public Health, Simon Bryant, said the plan is builds on what has been learned over the last few months: 

"In how best to deal with outbreaks quickly, to help minimise further spread.

"As we move forward, we will continue to review and evolve our approach to ensure systems are in place to identify and suppress possible outbreaks before they gain momentum. 

“If we are to avoid a damaging second wave of infections, it is important for everyone to continue to follow national advice – stay two metres apart, or one metre plus if two is not possible, wear face coverings where advised to do so, and wash hands – frequently.”