East Riding of Yorkshire Council is asking the public to get behind its plans for a COVID-safe East Riding.
The council has published its East Riding Outbreak Management Plan which is aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19 and quickly controlling any outbreaks which do occur.
All councils have been tasked by the Government to produce these plans and the East Riding’s has been developed in partnership with local health organisations and other partners.
The plan outlines how the council and its partners will provide localised support for the National NHS Test and Trace service and take other measures to help keep the public safe.
Cllr Richard Burton, leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “From the very outset of this pandemic we said we were all in this together and we’re repeating that message today.
“We can get through this but we all need to work together to ensure a COVID-safe East Riding where people can live, work, shop, learn, play, invest and visit with confidence.
“This plan, and the many safety actions the council and others are carrying out, can create a COVID-secure environment but it is absolutely vital that everyone plays their part in preventing any further spreads of the virus.
“Today, we are asking the public to follow some very simple guidance. Doing so will provide the best possible chance of keeping the East Riding COVID-safe.”
The plan’s success will depend on people following 3 Steps To Safety, which are: Prevent. Notice. Act.
STEP 1: Prevent:
Keep your distance – always follow the latest social distance guidance
Wash your hands – thoroughly washing your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds remains the best personal hygiene precaution
STEP 2: Notice:
Be aware of COVID-19 symptoms – so you can recognise ASAP if you or someone close to you has them: high temperature; new, continuous cough; loss or change to a sense of smell or taste
STEP 3: Act:
Get tested – If there is any hint of the symptoms in your household, make sure the person with the symptoms is tested ASAP
Stay home – Do the right thing if you and your household need to self-isolate:
– whether one of you has symptoms and you are waiting for the results
– whether one of you has tested positive
– or whether one of you has been in contact with someone who has tested positive
People can request a test at www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test or by calling 119.
Cllr Burton said: “If everyone follows these simple steps, and gets behind the test and trace programme, we can all help to save lives.
“We know the past few months have been incredibly difficult for everyone, particularly those who have lost loved ones and our hearts go out to all of the people who have suffered personal tragedies.
“We appreciate it’s also been difficult for people who have had to self-isolate for long periods, for people who have lost their jobs, for relatives who have been unable to visit their loved ones, for the thousands of key workers who have been absolute heroes in their dedication to the cause, and many others in all sorts of situations and circumstances.
“What we’re asking for now is more of the East Riding of Yorkshire determination, more of that #TogetherEastRiding community spirit and more of that commitment to do the right thing for the good of everyone.”
The East Riding Outbreak Management Plan and every council in the UK’s own plan will all have a role to play in trying to prevent a potential second wave of COVID-19 later in the year, which could coincide with seasonal flu and make dealing with future outbreaks of the coronavirus more difficult.
Andy Kingdom, the council’s Director of Public Health, said: “The success of the plan is absolutely linked to the public supporting test and trace, which helps to track the spread of the virus.
“The plan puts a strong and effective local system in place with our partners to drive forward with test and trace but we need the public to do the right thing if they get the call to have a test and to do the right thing if they need to self-isolate and stay home.
“Until we get a vaccine for COVID-19, we are all having to learn to live with this virus and this plan, depending on public support, gives us the best possible chance of living as normal lives as possible under the circumstances and preventing further outbreaks.
“If people follow the guidance – if they wash their hands, keep socially distant, spot the symptoms, get the test and stay home if advised to – then we will give them a safe place to live.
“If people do these things they will reduce the risk to themselves, their family and their neighbours. If they don’t, they risk becoming a contact – a link in the COVID-19 chain – and they risk putting themselves and others in harm’s way.
“Our communities have been fantastic in their efforts so far and we need that positive attitude and behaviour to continue for some time to come.”
The plan will be taken to the council’s Cabinet meeting on 7 July and the Cabinet will also be requested to establish a working group of its members, chaired by the council leader, to act as an East Riding COVID-19 Health Protection Engagement Board.