Test and Trace Operations Centre to be set up in Suffolk to limit coronavirus spread
PUBLISHED: 16:05 18 June 2020 | UPDATED: 11:24 19 June 2020
A seven-day test and trace operations centre will be set up in Suffolk to give people advice about what to do in the event of a local outbreak of Covid-19, it has been revealed.
The move is part of a county-wide action plan over what steps will be taken to limit the spread of the virus, as well as what will be done if there is a rise in cases in towns or villages.
So far, the county has followed national guidance on stopping the spread of coronavirus, with the Suffolk Resilience Forum coordinating the efforts of Suffolk’s health services, councils and emergency services during the crisis.
That has included joint messages from police and community leaders imploring people to adhere to the UK-wide coronavirus lockdown.
It has also helped the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) ramp up its mass coronavirus testing programme with a facility at Copdock park and ride, as well as several other mobile temporary sites which move across the county.
However, the government has now asked Suffolk to create its own “local outbreak control plan” by Tuesday, June 30 to determine how it will prevent Covid-19 spreading among different settings, such as schools and workplaces, as well as wider communities and amongst vulnerable individuals.
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It also requires Suffolk to have plans in place for “early identification and proactive management of outbreaks” and “containing and suppressing outbreaks of Covid-19”.
The county council’s coronavirus update said the plan would include several areas of work, such as identifying different settings, groups and individuals along with their level of risk of the virus.
It will also include what actions might be taken to reduce the risk, as well as the “processes for responding to an outbreak”.
Whether that would mean smaller scale lockdowns in certain areas of Suffolk is unclear.
However, Suffolk County Council’s coronavirus update did say: “As part of the plan, Suffolk is also establishing a Public Health driven Test and Trace Operations Centre (TTOC) which will provide a single point of contact to receive and distribute national guidance and offer direct support and co-ordination to settings in the event of an outbreak.
“This will be a seven-day service and aims to be live by the end of June.”
Test and Trace has been set up by the NHS to try and track coronavirus cases.
It aims to alert those who may have come into contact with Covid-19 sufferers and give them advice, so they can self-isolate and reduce the chances of the illness spreading.
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