In common with all upper tier councils across the country, North Somerset Council has developed a Local Outbreak Management Plan (LOMP) to guide the council, partners and the community through the steps to be taken locally to reduce the spread of the virus.
The council has been allocated £868,000 from a £300m government fund to work with the NHS, partners and stakeholders to establish a co-ordinated local approach.
The plan builds on seven key themes expected by Government and focuses on having systems in place to identify and suppress possible outbreaks before they gain momentum and reduce the risk of outbreaks occurring in the first place.
The seven areas of focus are:
- care homes and schools
- high risk places, locations and communities
- local testing capacity
- contact tracing
- data integration
- vulnerable people
- local boards.
Progress in delivering the LOMP will be reviewed by the North Somerset Partnership (as the local engagement board) with regular reporting to other forums. Regular updates will describe any changes and the responses proposed. Public facing data and intelligence will also provide the opportunity for all stakeholders to see easily the position for North Somerset.
Matt Lenny, Director of Public Health at North Somerset Council and author of the plan, said: “This is a great opportunity to confirm what we have learnt from our response to the pandemic so far and ensure that future planning is fit for purpose.
“Building on long-standing health protection arrangements, the LOMP provides advice to a wide range of partner organisations, decision-makers and our residents on how to protect the health of our community. It brings together an approach that is co-ordinated across all aspects of North Somerset life.
“We hope we will not see another local outbreak but if we do, we are prepared to control this awful virus.
“Everyone has a role to play in reducing the impact, and the best advice I can give remains – keep washing your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds, keep up your social distancing efforts, and if you have any symptoms that you think could be coronavirus, please book yourself a test immediately on the NHS website and self-isolate until you have your results. We have plenty of testing capacity locally, so you’ll be seen very quickly and have your results within a day or two.”