Devon ‘prepared’ if there’s a local outbreak

Devon is ‘in a good position’ if a local outbreak occurs, following sustained low numbers of positive COVID-19 cases and steady flow of quality data, says Devon’s Director of Public Health Dr Viriginia Pearson.

The Local Outbreak Management Plan is a blueprint which details how any future outbreaks of the virus in Devon would be managed and how its transmission would be contained.

It involves local organisations including the NHS, local authorities, emergency services, schools, care providers and businesses, all working closely together in partnership.

And it highlights additional support needed in the event of an outbreak for people who are particularly vulnerable – such as those of vulnerable ethnic groups or those with chronic health conditions and the elderly.

Dr Pearson also chairs the COVID-19 Health Protection Board, a committee of specialists who can coordinate a swift response to an outbreak of the virus, she said this week:

“The Local Outbreak Management Plan is a dynamic document and it is subject to change as we learn.

“We are working with partners on how we put in place these operating procedures in the event of any outbreaks, and how we test these procedures so that we are practised in how we would work should we get any outbreaks.

“Currently levels of Covid-19 within the county are very low. We have the second lowest cases in the National League table per 100,000 population…so actually we’re in a very positive position.”

She added: “We’ve been very fortunate in the Southwest. Because we’ve had the level of data that we needed for many weeks now…that’s helped us to constantly track what’s going on.

“Understanding the data and monitoring it is critical to keeping on top of what’s happening locally. It helps us with prevention and helps us with early intervention should we need it.”

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