Hull’s plan to prevent and contain local Coronavirus outbreaks has been launched, along with a message to the public that risk can only be reduced if people work together.
The Outbreak Prevention and Management Plan sets out how Hull City Council will work with partners across the City to reduce risks of virus transmission, prevent outbreaks and deal with them when they occur.
Julia Weldon, the Council’s Director of Public Health, said: “The Outbreak Management Plan lays out in detail how we will protect our residents in terms of preventing outbreaks and effectively dealing with them when they do happen. We are ready for this next phase and are confident our plan is as robust as it can possibly be.
“But it can only work with your help. It is local people who have the most important role in this – simply, we need you to continue to follow the latest guidance on social distancing and other protection measures and to isolate when asked in order to reduce the spread of Coronavirus. Our city has done an incredible job so far and we’re so grateful; we need you to carry on paying attention and following advice, because we can’t do this without you.
“I want to ask every Hull resident to take it extremely seriously if you get a text, email or call asking you to isolate. It’s your duty to protect your communities, vulnerable people and your own loved ones. If isolating is difficult, or you don’t understand what you need to do, we will be here to help.”
The plan, which will go before the Council’s Cabinet on July 27 and can be accessed here, was developed in response to the Government transferring local responsibility for Coronavirus to Councils and their partners. It explains who will lead the work and the organisations involved; places, people and situations which may be at greater risk; and what will happen when Hull has cases or outbreaks. An Elected-Member-led Hull Outbreak Control Engagement Board has been established, which will focus on engaging with local communities and partners.
A key element of prevention and management will be the NHS Test and Trace programme; a Government initiative intended to control and contain the spread of the virus by identifying people at high risk of having been exposed and ensuring they isolate. The Council’s local knowledge and expertise will be key in making sure everyone, particularly those who are vulnerable or marginalised, understands what they must do and is able to do it.
Julia added: “While specifically managing Coronavirus and emerging from this pandemic is new territory for everyone, we have a wealth of experience and knowledge within our Public Health team which will be invaluable, including local data, existing support infrastructures, and procedures for dealing with infectious outbreaks like E. Coli and salmonella. We have also been working on protecting our local communities from Coronavirus for several months now, and will continue to utilise all the experience gained and support systems put in place.”
Cllr Stephen Brady, Leader of Hull City Council and Chair of the Hull Outbreak Engagement Board, added: “Partners across the city have worked together to develop this plan and we will work together to implement it. We will also benefit from working together with our neighbours in the East Riding, North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire as we move forward.
“I’m confident we will continue to work together as a city to keep each other safe and protect those who need it most.”
The plan focusses on seven points:
- Planning for local outbreaks in care homes and schools;
- Identifying other high-risk places, people and locations, and planning how to manage them;
- Ensuring local testing is accessible to everyone in the population – this may mean delivering tests or organising local pop-up test sites;
- Supporting vulnerable people to get help to self-isolate;
- Establishing governance structures and working with existing ones;
- Assessing local and regional contact tracing and infection control capability in complex settings and the need for mutual aid;
- Integrating local and national data and scenario planning through the Joint Biosecurity Centre Playbook.