Media reports yesterday (30 June) had stated there had been a recent weekly increase of new cases in the county of 300%. However this actually equates to just an increase from one to four new cases.
There has been a total of 550 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Wiltshire Council area, still comparatively low nationally, and the South West remains the lowest ranked region for cases. Wiltshire Council also has the sixth lowest rate of cases per 100,000 resident population with 110.4 cases per 100,000. This data is taken from the Public Health Coronavirus Case website.
The council has now published its Local Outbreak Management Plan which will build on local expertise and effective health protection processes that are already in place, and outlines how the council and partners will positively engage with the public so they're fully aware and supportive of the crucial part they have to play in the process.
The government has identified seven themes that are deemed essential to plans to manage an outbreak effectively. They are:
• Care homes and schools
• Identify high risk settings, communities and places
• Local testing capacity
• Contact tracing
• Data integration
• Vulnerable people
Wiltshire Council will work with the Government to support test and trace services in local communities, taking a place-based approach to containing the spread of the infection as much as possible.
Effective governance will also play a critical part of the process. A Wiltshire Outbreak Engagement Board will be set up imminently, chaired by the Wiltshire Council Leader, and this will ensure that local residents and other stakeholders in the public, private and third sectors all understand and support the need to comply with the rules and principles designed to prevent viral transmission.
Kate Blackburn, Interim Director for Public Health at Wiltshire Council, said: " All the data suggests Wiltshire residents have been disciplined in following the guidance and social distancing measures, and there is currently no reason to believe that will change significantly any time soon. However, the Local Outbreak Management Plan will ensure Wiltshire Council and our partners can keep a close eye on any changes.
"We all need to work together to ensure this plan is as effective as it can be, should there be a local outbreak. Together with our partners, we have made sure there is a strong framework in place to support an effective outbreak response.
"However, we need communities up and down the county to play their role too and continue with their tremendous efforts so far to keep the infection at bay by following the guidelines closely."
The Local Outbreak Management Plan can be found below:
Update on 1 July 2020 - Statement regarding pillar 2 testing results
Kate Blackburn, Interim Director for Public Health at Wiltshire Council, said "Following our update yesterday (30 June 2020) about media reports suggesting there was the potential for a local lockdown in Wiltshire I wanted to respond to some queries we've had about pillar 2 testing results. We do have access to these results locally and have been using them in all of our local planning.
"Please be reassured that even including pillar 2 confirmed test results the number of confirmed cases in Wiltshire remains extremely low. On a daily basis we review a number of different reports and data with our Public Health England colleagues. Should there be any issues there are alert systems in place.
"The most important thing we can do as a community at the moment is to stick to the national guidance around social distancing and maintain good hand hygiene.
"I would like to thank you for your continued support at this time."
You can read more about testing on GOV.UK.
You can see a video version of Kate's statement on our YouTube channel.