As more shops, businesses and schools re-open – Bristol City Council has published a plan to manage the next stage of the coronavirus pandemic and prevent local outbreaks.
The Covid-19 Local Outbreak Management Plan outlines the city’s approach to control and stop the spread of the ongoing virus – and manage Covid-19 as part of the national Test and Trace programme.
The plan also aims to reduce the rate of infection and respond rapidly to any rises in the virus, so they can be “contained quickly and safely”.
Individuals, communities and businesses as well as education and care homes will need to work together to prevent and respond to local incidents and outbreaks.
The council will also be establishing a COVID-19 health protection committee and local boards.
Director of Public Health for Bristol,Christina Gray, said: “We all know the devastating impact lockdown has had on Bristol’s citizens, not just in terms of illness and grief, but also impacts on mental health through isolation, fear, worry and financial concerns.
“We want to do all we can to prevent a widespread lockdown happening again so we can return to living our lives in the best way possible.
“Covid-19 isn’t going away, and we don’t yet have a cure or vaccination. Therefore this plan outlines not only how we can prevent catching the infection, but also how we will quickly and effectively respond, with our partners, to manage outbreaks and prevent any wider spread…
“Together we can protect ourselves and the most vulnerable people in our city.”
Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Communities, Asher Craig, said: “Over the past few months we have seen people rally together in their communities to support each other, and it is this spirit that we need to harness as we all adapt to living with the virus.
“There is little doubt that without the measures we have all taken with hand washing, social distancing, and staying home, more people could have become seriously ill or died.
“But I also appreciate this hasn’t been an easy time for anyone, and we now all need to focus on what we need to do long term for infection prevention.”
The council will be soon be asking the public to feedback on the plan to help understand the communities they live in, and how any prevention methods could affect residents.
The public are also being reminded of the importance of booking a test if they have symptoms.
Everyone in the same household should stay at home and self-isolate until the test results are through.
Tests can be ordered through the NHS website.
The seven important steps you can take to protect others and prevent spread of infection are:
- stay at least 2 metres (3 steps) away from anyone you do not live with (or anyone not in your support bubble) when outside your home
- wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
- use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
- wash your hands as soon as you get home
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
- wear face coverings on public transport.
For more information on the NHS Test and Trace service visit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-test-and-trace-how-it-works