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Surrey Plans For Local Lockdowns to Tackle Possible Covid-19 Spikes

Published on: 1 Jul, 2020
Updated on: 1 Jul, 2020

Surrey County Council is finalising preparations to tackle local outbreaks of Covid-19 as the pandemic moves to the next stage.

The council’s Local Outbreak Control Plan (LOCP), outlines how to handle the spread of the virus and quickly manage any local spike in infections.

The county is among 11 “good practice” areas across England working to innovate and share best practice in the development of such schemes.

Surrey’s took weeks of intense work by many health and social care partners, including the NHS, county council, districts and boroughs, emergency services and military planners.

Testing of anyone who has any suspicious symptoms is a key part of the county’s plan to control outbreaks of infection.

Hopefully, any “localised lockdown” can be avoided if people follow public health messages and comply with the NHS test and trace system.

These include:

  • Self-isolate if you have symptoms and get tested;
  • Share your contacts if you test positive;
  • Self-isolate when alerted by test and trace;
  • Keep your distance if you go out;
  • Work from home if you can;
  • Wear face-coverings where appropriate; and
  • Wash your hands regularly.

Cllr Tim Oliver

Tim Oliver, leader of SCC, said: “It is imperative that all 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.

“Although this is new territory for everybody, 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.”

Testing can take place at static facilities such as the Covid Testing Centre in the Onslow Park & Ride or my mobile testing units and with supplied home testing kits.

The LOCP will be triggered only 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 among two or more people linked by place and time.

Outbreak control measures can be used in specific settings such as schools, care homes, workplaces, hospitals etc rather than whole town or area ‘lockdowns’.

The LOCP has the flexibility to be updated and adapted as the situation changes and more is learned about outbreak control elsewhere.

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 may need to take.

The county council has, since Monday, been in receipt of data showing infections by postcode. It is now working on how best to collate this data with that already provided by Public Health England to refine the picture of local infections.

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