People in north east Lincolnshire were urged to support a plan that would establish how the area will continue to face the COVID-19 threat.
A special meeting of the Cabinet of the Northeast Council of Lincolnshire yesterday evening (June 29) approved the Area Outbreak Control Plan, developed by the authority, the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and partners from the wider system of local health and social care workers who have worked together since COVID-19 first became a threat.
While the area currently has the third lowest case rate in England, with the number of cases emerging in nursing homes and the lowest number of deaths in England, and as the local economy starts to open up, the Council is working closely with businesses to protect consumers and protect this good position.
£ 1 million has been allocated to the Council to support the management of the COVID-19 outbreaks with the development and delivery of the North East Lincolnshire Outbreak Control Plan, which establishes how the Council will work with local partners and the NHS testing and tracing service to quickly respond to contain and check for any local virus outbreaks. This will allow a gradual return to normal life in a safe way to protect the NHS and social assistance.
Council leader Philip Jackson said that in addition to working to safely restart the local economy, the Council has played an important public health role in ensuring that the virus is brought under control, so that life can continue to return to normal.
He added: “But we and other partners cannot do it alone – we must continue to work together in all our communities and residents, as they have already done so well so far.
“Until we have a vaccine for COVID-19, we will all have to learn to live with the virus and supporting this plan gives us the best chance of living the most normal life possible in the circumstances and preventing further outbreaks.”
The council said that because COVID-19 is a new virus and remains highly contagious, the public must remain cautious as we exit the blockade. There are a number of risks that could increase infections in the community again. For example, the low infection rates in the area indicate that most local people have not already been exposed to the virus, hence the impact of the reopening of indoor activities and the increase in the number of visitors outside the area are still not certain.
The Council recognized that it had a central role in identifying and managing any local outbreaks as soon as they arise. The outbreak control plan establishes measures such as the potential temporary closure of individual locations to allow for deep cleaning, rapid deployment of mobile test units and targeted communications in specific contexts, communities or locations.
Cllr Jackson said that the epidemic control plan and those of all UK councils will all have a role to play in trying to prevent a potential second wave of COVID-19 at the end of the year, which could coincide with the seasonal flu and doing business with future virus outbreaks more difficult.
He explains: “As we continue to make the first, backward attempts in normal life, it is imperative that everything be done to keep the virus out of the community, to keep people from getting sick and to keep more people from dying.
“We all want to see that restrictions continue to be eased, but if infection rates go up again, we face exactly the opposite with more stringent restrictions and a possible return to the block that nobody wants to see.
“That’s why I would continue to urge the vast majority of people, who act in the best interests of their communities and take care of the safety of others, to continue doing the right thing in the coming weeks and months.”