Guidance for businesses dealing with an outbreak

The Government has issued guidance for businesses and organisations on how to recognise, contain and report incidents of coronavirus, and produced ‘action cards’ designed to be printed or downloaded to keep on hand, which give you instructions specific to your type of business on what to do.

If a confirmed case of COVID-19 has occurred in your business or organisation, go to the reporting an outbreak resource site to find the relevant type of organisation and follow the instructions on the action card. Some organisations will need to report an outbreak with just one confirmed case of COVID-19.

The action cards will provide you with a 3 step process to deal with an incident: Identify; Report; Respond, and cover ‘small and large gatherings’, ‘residential workplaces’ and ‘workplaces’.

You can find the guidance here:

And you can find the Reporting an Outbreak resource site (including the action cards) here:

Government’s Approach to dealing with local outbreaks

The Government has issued an overview of their approach to managing local coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreaks. The approach is in 5 parts, which can be scaled up rapidly as needed:

  1. Monitoring: the Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC) and Public Health England (PHE) examine data on the spread of the disease and people’s behaviour across the country on a daily basis. Local data is shared with directors of public health in local authorities so they too can monitor what is happening in their area. It is also available to the public on our coronavirus dashboard.
  2. Engagement and communication: if monitoring suggests that there are problems at a local level, the JBC and PHE will engage the relevant local authority to generate a joint understanding of the problem and develop solutions. Effective communication with the local community at an early stage is crucial to avoiding the need for tougher measures.
  3. Testing: we have substantial testing capacity at a national level which can be targeted at local areas in order to get a grip on emerging outbreaks. Mass testing at a local level, combined with contract tracing through NHS Test and Trace, can control the virus and thus avoid stricter measures.
  4. Local restrictions: if the virus continues to spread, either a local authority or the government can restrict activities at particular locations and close individual premises.
  5. National intervention: if the previous measures have not proven to be enough, the government can put in place further measures. This might involve shutting businesses venues that would otherwise be allowed to open, closing schools, and asking people to stay at home or restrict their movement. These measures will be carefully tailored to the specific circumstances of each outbreak and reviewed at least every 2 weeks.

The full details can be found here:

Blackburn with Darwen Cases

Blackburn with Darwen Council’s Director of Public Health and Wellbeing, Professor Dominic Harrison, advises that we are on the ‘right tracks’ as the positivity rate for new tests has fallen.  The positivity rate is the number of people who have tested positive for coronavirus for every 100 people tested.  When extra guidance was brought in for the borough, the positivity rate stood at 7%.  As of Friday 24 July, it is less than 3% meaning there are only around three positive cases of the virus for every 100 tests taking place.

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