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Find out what the local outbreak management plan is.

Torbay’s Local COVID-19 Outbreak Management Plan describes how we will work with our partners to prevent and manage outbreaks of COVID-19 in our local area. All parts of health, care and local government are working together, alongside police, business, tourism, our communities, to make sure that we are well prepared for any future increases in infection rates in our part of the country.

Our COVID-19 Outbreak Management Plan covers the following seven areas:

  • Preventing and managing outbreaks in specific settings like care homes and schools
  • Preventing and managing outbreaks in higher risk locations like factories, workplaces, or any other setting where there are a lot of people coming together
  • Making sure we have facilities to test everyone with symptoms quickly, and get them their result as soon as possible, so they and their household can stop isolating
  • Helping Public Health England trace contacts if there are cases in complex settings
  • Putting together all the data we have to map the rates and spread of any infection in our community
  • Supporting vulnerable and isolated people to get the information and help they need
  • Working with partners across the Bay to deal with any outbreaks quickly and effectively so we can keep our businesses and institutions running safely
  • Communicating what we are doing to members of our communities and making sure their voices are heard.

A key part of the local plan is promoting measures to prevent outbreaks.  This includes communicating guidance and advice to our general population as well as ensuring targeted measures such as high-quality infection prevention and control advice and training to those who work in higher risk settings and work with or care for the most vulnerable people.

There are some settings where an outbreak could be more complex to deal with.  It is therefore important to have specific plans in place with pre-agreed actions to respond to these higher risk settings. Plans are being agreed detailing how we will respond to outbreaks in settings such as schools, hospitals, prisons and hostels. 

There are also some individuals and communities who are at higher risk.  It is important our Local Outbreak Plan ensures that the health needs of those most vulnerable people and communities are met.  We will also continue to support those who are especially vulnerable to isolate at home when they need to, and to access the vital supplies and support that they need.  

How are we organised

A Devon and Torbay COVID-19 Health Protection Board has been set up to oversee plans and ensure we can deploy resources as needed to prevent and tackle any outbreaks. This has representatives from all key partners across our two local authority areas. 

The Torbay Local Outbreak Engagement Board is being set up to bring local oversight to the programme in Torbay and ensure regular communications with our residents and communities. This is chaired by the Leader of the Council Steve Darling and all local statutory and voluntary sector organisations will be represented. 

Beneath these two groups there are local operational groups managing the response, coordinating access to testing, PPE, training, and the data which tells us how many cases and contacts we have in our area at any one time and helps us to plan and manage any increase in infections in the community. 

The need for local, timely, high quality data and surveillance is critical. A consistent will enable us to plan and respond to cases and outbreaks at the earliest point.   

What can we all do

Members of the general public have a vital role to play in reducing the spread of the virus and preventing outbreaks, both in terms of following national guidance and social distancing guidelines, following good hand and respiratory hygiene practices, and arranging testing and self-isolating as advised. 

When someone tests positive for COVID-19 the national track and trace programme steps in. They complete an online form, or speak to a call handler on the phone, to describe who they have been in contact with so that their close contacts can be asked to self-isolate for 14 days. It can take up to 14 days to develop symptoms so the self-isolation helps to keep those around you safe in case you develop the infection. This is the main way in which we control the virus and prevent spread.    

The most important ways in which we can keep safe and healthy as a community is to support each other, as we have been doing so brilliantly, in maintaining sensible social distancing, regular handwashing, and staying at home and getting tested if we have symptoms. Crucially we all need to continue isolating for 14 days if anyone in our household, or with whom we are in close contact, tests positive for COVID-19. As we start to increase our work and social contacts, it is vital that we all keep following this guidance we are now all familiar with, so that we can maintain our homes lives, businesses and social activities through the coming months.

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