Council’s Public Health Team and Partners Respond to Cases in South of the County

24 July 2020 1:26pm

Shropshire Council is working with Public Health England (PHE) Midlands and local NHS organisations in response to recent cases of Covid-19 at a caravan site near Craven Arms.

Testing for residents was arranged immediately following 2 positive cases identified at the site. There has been good cooperation with the residents on site who have been working with health practitioners to undertake testing.

Currently three positive cases have been confirmed, with all being linked to an outbreak in Welshpool and a recent local event. Testing continues with further cases possible.

All residents on the caravan site have been asked to self-isolate with members of their household, for 14 days. This means that residents of the site are asked to remain in their homes during the period of isolation and stay within household groups, to reduce risk of spread within the site and the wider community.

Residents have been asked to follow the necessary health and safety measures to help prevent further transmission of the virus.

Shropshire Council’s Public Health team and partners continue to work with those affected, to provide health protection advice, support and guidance. All partners involved are aware of residents’ concerns and want to reassure that the risk to the general public remains low.

The council’s Community Reassurance Team have been arranging food and essential supplies for residents on the site, whilst residents self-isolate.

A testing site will be available in Craven Arms from Saturday 25 July 2020 for any member of the public who has symptoms. You can make an appointment by calling NHS 119.

Rachel Robinson, Director of Public Health at Shropshire Council said:

“Our priority is to protect the health and wellbeing of all residents in our community.
“As soon as we were notified of the first cases, we arranged immediate testing with residents from the site to allow us to understand transmission and help control the spread of infection.

“We continue to support the residents on the site and have advised residents to remain on site during the period of isolation and stay within household groups, to reduce risk of spread within the site and into the wider community.

“Anyone who has a fever, persistent dry cough, or loss or change in their sense of taste or smell should call 119 or go online to arrange a test. Testing services are available across the county but will also be available locally in Craven Arms from this Saturday 25 July. Anyone who has symptoms should book on-line or through NHS 119.

“We will continue to monitor and manage the situation closely”

Councillor Dean Carroll, Cabinet Member with responsibilities for Public Health and Adult Social Care added:

“Our focus remains the health and wellbeing of residents and the wider community while we work to contain and control the spread of COVID-19.

“At this phase of the pandemic, we still expect to see cases in the community and within settings where people are closer together, which is why test and trace is so important, to help us pick up on any potential problems and to swiftly take remedial action to reduce the spread.

“We would also like to remind everyone to follow social distancing advice to reduce their social interaction with other people. Good hand hygiene remains the best protection against the virus, including washing your hands more regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, wearing a face covering when using public transport or going to the shops and supermarkets, and covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.”

Councillor Lee Chapman, Local member for Church Stretton and Craven Arms and Chair of Shropshire’s Health and Wellbeing Board added:

“We want to reassure local residents who have any concerns, that the risk to the general public is low. We know that coronavirus is still very much with us and we do expect to see clusters of cases during a pandemic of this nature.

“Our Public Health team and partners are working with the local community to help prevent the spread of infection.

“I do strongly encourage people to follow the government guidelines to help protect yourself and others. We all need to play our part to help stop the spread of coronavirus.”

Councillor David Evans Local Member for Church Stretton and Craven Arms also commented:

“We are working closely with Shropshire Council and partners to support the health and wellbeing our local community.

“We continue to rely on everyone at the site to play their part, and want to encourage the residents to continue to self-isolate and take all the necessary precautions, this is the only way we can help stop the spread of coronavirus.”

Steve Gregory, Executive Director of Nursing and Operations at Shropshire Community Health, said:

“We responded quickly to the request yesterday to attend the site and performed COVID-19 tests on more than 40 residents. I would like to thank our team for their prompt and professional actions.

“I would also like to reassure the people of Craven Arms that the risk to their own health is low as long as they continue to follow all guidance – wash your hands regularly, observe social distancing. Face coverings are of course mandatory in shops as of today. We must all do everything we can to protect ourselves and each other.”

Dr Carol Chatt, Consultant in Communicable Disease Control with PHE Midlands, said:

“We are working closely with the local authority and NHS partners to prevent the spread of infection, both on the site and to the wider community. One of the main method of preventing spread is to identify cases quickly and advise contacts to isolate. We would like to remind everyone to arrange a test if symptomatic and engage with the NHS Test and Trace service if contacted.”

For local advice and support during the pandemic (especially if you are self-isolating), call Shropshire Council’s Covid 19 helpline on 0345 678 9028 or visit our website at www.shropshire.gov.uk/coronavirus.

More information about coronavirus, testing, self-isolation, and social distancing is available from the UK Government website at www.gov.uk/coronavirus