The Government announced in May that top tier local authorities will lead new local outbreak control plans (LOCP) which give powers to local public heath leaders to manage the risk of potential future outbreaks of the disease with some additional focus on high risk groups such as vulnerable elderly people and people from black and ethnic minority backgrounds.
Nottingham and Nottinghamshire received a share of the government’s £300 million fund to implement the plans, which will involve much closer engagement with communities to increase awareness of infection control in care homes and schools but will also work directly with large employers whose workers live in a particular community.
They will also include how the NHS test and trace system will be rolled out if an outbreak occurs and gives local public health care and local authorities the powers to decide where and how the tracing is implemented locally depending on the nature of any outbreaks.
Jonathan Gribbin, director of public health for Nottinghamshire, said: “Coronavirus continues to circulate in our communities, so it is vital that local government works together to contain the virus.
“We will be reviewing the best available information on a daily basis and working with our partners to deal with hotspots that arise.
“Our advice is to maintain social distancing of two metres wherever you can – and one metre-plus precautions where two metres is not possible – to wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, to stay at home if you or someone in your household has symptoms and to get tested and to follow the advice you receive when you get the result.”
Coun Kay Cutts, Nottinghamshire County Council leader and chairman of the Nottinghamshire LOCP engagement board, added: “The expertise, knowledge and experience of our directors of public health combined with the relationships our members have with their own communities makes our plan a strong foundation on which to protect our communities from future outbreaks of this disease.
“We rely on good quality data, cooperation from our residents and good engagement with the most vulnerable people in our communities.
“If we can manage and contain the virus earlier, it will hopefully enable us to continue to recover our economy and help people resume as normal a life as possible.”