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"Robust" plan in place to reduce spread of coronavirus in Hampshire

Hampshire County Council has published its Local Outbreak Control Plan, which the council's leader has described as "robust", in the event that the county sees a spike in cases.

The plan sees the council work alongside key partners such as the NHS and district councils, in working to identify and contain any local outbreaks of the virus that may occur.

It covers a number of priority areas which include the following:

Care homes and schools - continuing to monitor these critical facilities and ensuring measures are in place to prevent the risk of infection.

High risk places - this oversees managing outbreaks at areas such as sheltered housing, airports, transport hubs, prisons, hospitals and tourist venues.

Vulnerable people - ensuring services are available for the county's most vulnerable.

Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Keith Mans, said:

“As lockdown restrictions increasingly ease, it will be critical to ensure that we have a robust mechanism in place to enable us to 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.” 

The Hampshire Local Outbreak Engagement Board will be a subcommittee of the County Council's Cabinet and will review recommendations made by the Director of Public Health on what local action is required to control the R rate of coronavirus, ensure the spread of infection is reduced and most importantly save lives.

The Board are also expected to liaise and engage with the public, over any outbreak concerns.

The action plan will also support the roll-out of the Test and Trace programme across Hampshire by making sure everyone across the county has access to the testing

Hampshire County Council’s Director of Public Health, Simon Bryant, said:

“Our Plan builds on the extensive learning gained over the past 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.”

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