Latest Brief from the Chief: COVID-19 Update - 28 May
Thu, 28 May 2020

Dear colleagues,

As we come to the end of the third month of the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK, the council is continuing its response to support our residents, businesses and communities.

With some lockdown measures being eased, we are having to move quickly to respond to the various changes.

New announcements are coming from Downing Street at a steady rate now, from the plans to re-open primary and secondary schools more widely in June to the re-opening of outdoor markets and the retail sector, with safe systems and social distancing measures in place.

Yesterday the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care announced the launch of NHS Test and Trace, a new service which forms a key part of the Government's COVID-19 recovery strategy.

NHS Test and Trace, which started operations today (Thursday, 28 May), provides testing for anyone who has symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) to find out if they have the virus. As soon as they experience coronavirus symptoms, medical advice is clear: they must self-isolate for at least seven days. Anyone else in their household must self-isolate for 14 days from when they started having symptoms. The people who they have been in contact with are traced and told to self-isolate for 14 days from their last contact with the person (even if they are not displaying symptoms) in order to break the chain of transmission of the virus.

To find out more about NHS Test and Trace, click here

To support NHS Test and Trace and allow the country to continue to ease out of lockdown and into a 'new normal', the Government has instructed local authorities to work closely with local health partners to develop local outbreak control plans to help continue to reduce the spread of infection and to respond swiftly to outbreaks as they happen.

The plans will focus on seven key themes, including planning for local outbreaks in care homes and schools, identifying and planning how to manage high-risk places - such as sheltered housing and transport hubs, ensure access to local testing and continuing to support vulnerable people to get help to self-isolate.

The council is now working on its plan which, once in place, will draw on the extensive local knowledge and expertise of colleagues across public health and those of NHS partners, including GPs.

It will also build further on the co-ordinated approach we have taken to tackle COVID-19 in the East Riding.

It is also important to remember that, while some council services and sectors of the economy move into a new phase in terms of re-opening, some workers are still very much dealing with the pandemic, including our staff working in social care.

Some of our staff may not return to their normal roles for some time, but will continue to play an active role in our shielding arrangements.

I'd just like to pay special tribute to them for their continued hard work and dedication. What you are doing represents the very best of us and we cannot begin to put into words just how grateful we are.

Finally, I would just like to thank those members of staff who joined me for the recent Meet the Chief Virtual Roadshow events.

Over the two one-hour sessions, we had 1,000 people sign in and over 200 questions were put to me.

While I tried to answer as many of these as possible during the events, some went unanswered due to time constraints. We will look to respond to all of these in future internal communications, including articles on the intranet and also in the June issue of The Grapevine, due out on Monday, 1 June!



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