COVID-19 Local Outbreak Plan Published
South Tyneside residents are being reassured that plans are in place to reduce the risk of a local outbreak of COVID-19.
The Council has published its Local Outbreak Control Plan which also sets out how it will respond with its partners in the event of a local outbreak.
The plan outlines the measures needed to get any localised outbreak under control such as testing, contact tracing, support for schools and care homes as well as ongoing advice on how residents can keep themselves safe. Any outbreak is most likely to be centred around an individual setting such as a school or care home, rather than across the whole Borough although this depends on people adhering strictly to the existing public health guidance.
The Leader of the Council, Councillor Iain Malcolm, said: "Whilst we are not currently at risk of going into a full lockdown situation like we've seen in Leicester there is now more than ever a need for us all to hold firm.
"We can and must continue to follow the public health guidance to help keep South Tyneside safe. Failure to do so could see us lose all the gains made under lockdown and at such great personal sacrifice of so many."
Residents should continue to social distance as much as possible and wash their hands more often and for longer. Although social distancing has been amended to 1m+ when staying 2m apart is not possible, it is important to remember that this 1m+ guidance only applies when other mitigating factors, such as a face coverings or regular hand sanitising, are used as well.
Anyone displaying symptoms of the virus - a new continuous cough, high temperature or the loss or change to your sense of smell or taste - should book a test immediately and follow any advice given by the tracing service. Anyone who tests positive for coronavirus will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace and will need to share information about their recent interactions. People identified as having been in close contact with someone who has a positive test must stay at home for 14 days, even if they do not have symptoms.
Councillor Malcolm added: "We have all been and continue to be affected by COVID-19 - tragically some more than others.
"The sacrifices of so many means that we have contained the spread of the virus but we cannot afford to be complacent. It is up to each and every one of us to continue to follow the guidance and act responsibly to keep our communities safe.
"This will help save lives, protect our health and social care system and allow our local economy to recover."