​Prevention is what will keep us safe from coronavirus

Bury Council and its partners have put together an Outbreak Control Plan to tackle any local rise in coronavirus cases and help keep people safe.

But they warn that following the social distancing and hygiene guidelines is the only way to prevent the virus spreading and avert a further lockdown.

The plan sets out ways in which the council, the local NHS and other partners aim to protect the most vulnerable and contain and manage future outbreaks.

A new local single point of contact now receives notifications of new coronavirus outbreaks, and a bolstered Bury health protection team is in place for the swift management of outbreak situations.

Key contacts in a range of settings including education, health and care and businesses will ensure that we are best placed to prevent and respond to local outbreaks in all settings. Public health experts will use the latest intelligence such as the number of tests undertaken, the number of new cases, calls to NHS 111 and patient demographics, to act as an early warning system to predict, prevent and manage future outbreaks.

Councillor Andrea Simpson, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “Prevention is always better than cure, and will continue to be our top priority. Although the lockdown is easing, this deadly virus – which has already claimed around 200 lives in Bury – is not finished with us.

“The events in Leicester show us that we are nowhere near out of the woods yet, and we must all follow the official guidelines and stop this virus making a resurgence in Bury.

“Only by doing that can we all look forward to a return to normal life.

“Simple steps like regular hand washing, limiting contact with others and social distancing, as well as getting tested if you develop symptoms are making a huge difference. It is vitally important that if you have been told you have been in close contact with an infected person, to follow the advice given by NHS Test and Trace, self-isolate and get tested if you go on to develop symptoms.”

Bury has a drive-through testing site (see https://www.bury.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=15451) and a test can be requested online. For those with no transport, a home testing kit can be requested via the GOV.UK website.

Cllr Simpson added: “Now is not the time to be complacent. By working together to protect ourselves and our loved ones, we can overcome coronavirus and return to a more normal, safer life.”

A copy of the Outbreak Control Plan is on the council’s website at www.bury.gov.uk/coronavirus-outbreakmanagementplan

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