Surrey County Council has published its Local Outbreak Control Plan, outlining its readiness to control the spread of COVID-19 and quickly manage any local spike in infections.
Surrey is one of 11 ‘good practice’ areas across England chosen to work together to innovate and share best practice in the development of Local Outbreak Control Plans.
The plan is a result of weeks of intense planning from many health and social care partners in Surrey including: the NHS, Surrey County Council, Districts and Boroughs and military planners.
It is hoped that any ‘localised lockdown’ in Surrey can be avoided if people continue to follow important public health messages and comply with the NHS Test & Trace system.
• Self isolate if you have symptoms and get tested
• Share your contacts if you test positive
• Self isolate when alerted to by Test and Trace
• Keep your distance if you go out
• Work from home if you can
• Wear face coverings where appropriate
• Wash your hands regularly
Tim Oliver, Leader of Surrey County Council, said: “It is imperative that all Surrey residents play their part and continue to follow public health advice and comply with NHS Test and Trace instructions, so we can prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keep Surrey safe, and open.
“Whilst this is new territory for everybody concerned, we have developed a comprehensive plan combining the expertise of Public Health, Local Government and advice from central government.
“We are forensically analysing the data, to monitor infection rates locally to see if there is any spike in cases occurring.”
The Local Outbreak Control Plan will only be triggered where there are suspected or confirmed COVID-19 outbreaks in any setting or community. An ‘outbreak’ is defined as ‘a greater than expected occurrence of an infection compared with the usual background rate for that particular place and time’ or a number of people linked by place and time, usually two or more people.
It is likely that outbreak control measures will be used in specific settings such as schools, care homes, workplaces, hospitals etc. rather than whole town or area ‘lockdowns’.
However, the LOCP will be updated and adapted as the situation changes and more is learned about outbreak control elsewhere.
As part of the response a communication campaign will be put into action. Key public messages will be shared across social media, local press as well as digital and outdoor advertising.
In the event of a specific outbreak extra control measures will be activated. A rapid response team will issue real time messages to residents across social media and notify them of any additional action they need to take.