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Council release COVID-19 Outbreak Control Plan

The Royal Borough’s cabinet has approved a COVID-19 control plan to help prepare residents for ‘a very difficult winter’.

During a virtual cabinet meeting on Thursday, Cllr Stuart Carroll (Con, Boyn Hill), cabinet member for health, presented the Royal Borough Outbreak Control Plan.

The council will work with NHS colleagues, police and other associated services to minimise the spread of the virus.

The Government requested all upper-tier local authorities develop outbreak control plans to help manage virus spreads as national lockdown measures ease.

Addressing cabinet, Cllr Stuart Carroll said: “During this period of transition and easing it’s not by any stretch of the imagination to be seen as surprising that we will have sporadic cases or specific outbreaks of more epidemic rather than pandemic proportions surfacing in different areas.”

The plan will help manage potential outbreaks in specific settings such as schools and care homes, workplaces and high risk communities.

It will also look to optimise local testing capacity.

The council has established a Royal Borough Engagement Board – chaired by Hilary Hall, director of adult social care – where councillors will meet every month to update residents about the latest measures to control the virus.

Cllr Carroll admitted: “We are looking at a very difficult winter.”

He added: “When you look at the winter period and the amount of strain the NHS could be under we shouldn’t under any circumstances rule out the possibility of there having to be further lockdowns.”

Leader of the council, Cllr Andrew Johnson (Con, Hurley and Walthams) added: “Our public health role going forward is absolutely paramount in everything we do.”

Following the meeting, on Friday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced plans to further ease the lockdown, including opening ice rinks and casinos, will be delayed for at least two weeks following a national spike in cases.

Speaking to the Express, Cllr Carroll said: “We assimilate all national guidance into our plan immediately.”

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