04:43PM, Thursday 02 July 2020
A COVID-19 outbreak control plan has been published by Slough Borough Council, which outlines measures it will need to take if it sees a spike in cases.
The plan was discussed at an extraordinary cabinet meeting on Tuesday before being submitted to central government.
Cllr Natasa Pantelic (Lab, Cippenham Meadows) cabinet member for health said: “This plan is very much there to help us make decisions and rapidly respond to any potential outbreaks.”
The plan states that as of June 22, there have been 465 lab confirmed cases of coronavirus in Slough and 107 deaths. This is higher than the national and regional rate per 100,000 people.
It adds that nine out of 16 care homes have experienced outbreaks and there have been 12 deaths at 12 care homes.
The outbreak plan is split into two key messages – preventive measures and targeted messages in response to local outbreaks.
The council will encourage residents to use the NHS test and trace service and observe social distancing and hygiene. It will also support high-risk settings and communities by amplifying these messages when an outbreak occurs.
Cllr Rob Anderson (Lab, Britwell and Northborugh) asked who would be responsible for ordering a local lockdown as there was ‘some ambiguity’ with the situation in Leicester.
Josie Wragg, chief executive for the council said the borough did not have the powers to order this so it would ‘absolutely have to be at a national level’.
When asked about access to coronavirus case data, Tessa Lindfield, strategic director of public health for Berkshire said the situation was improving ‘quite rapidly’ as the council would soon have access to postcode data.
She added: “I’m feeling much more optimistic about the data, it’s not perfect but it’s improving every week. This new datastream is the one we’ve been waiting for because it will give us daily testing data for residents of Berkshire.”
Council leader James Swindlehurst (Lab, Cippenham Meadows) asked what specific recognition there was in the plan for Slough’s population.
The plan states that 56 per cent of the town’s residents are BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) which have a higher risk of dying from COVID-19. The infection rate is also higher for people with underlying health conditions and who live in deprived areas. Britwell and Northborough, Chalvey and Elliman are the three most deprived wards in the borough.
Ms Lindfield said the council had put a nationally recognised project in place to test interventions and improve community engagement within the BAME communities.
Visit http://www.slough.gov.uk/moderngov/documents/s60331/Report.pdf to read the full plan.
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