Hundreds of staff attend Teams event to hear about council's COVID-19 response
Thu, 17 Sep 2020

More than 460 staff attended a Teams questions and answers event to hear all about the council's ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Andy Kingdom, director of public health, gave an informative presentation about the current situation with the virus and provided an overview of how the council has responded to the public health crisis so far.

His presentation explained the East Riding Outbreak Management Plan, which supports the national NHS Test and Trace service and aims to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and quickly control any local outbreaks which may occur.

It also included lots of detailed information about infection rates and other statistics, and Andy explained the public health approach to dealing with the pandemic, including the council's 3 Steps To Safety campaign.

Staff heard that infection rates in the East Riding were currently low but Andy warned against complacency and urged colleagues to keep following the 3 Steps To Safety.

He said: "COVID-19 hasn't gone away and we all still have a part to play, individually and collectively, in following some simple steps to ensure the East Riding is a safe place to live, work, shop, learn, play, invest and visit.

"Our staff and the East Riding public generally have been fantastic in helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19 so far but we need to keep it up, especially as we're heading into the winter flu season, and I urge everyone who is eligible for a flu jab to make sure they get vaccinated, to help protect themselves, their loved ones and the NHS."

The Teams event was held on Thursday, 3 September and, after his presentation, Andy was joined by chief executive Caroline Lacey and associate director of public health Mike McDermott in answering questions from staff.

Nearly 80 questions and comments were contributed and any questions which were not able to be asked of the panel because of time constraints during the event will be responded to and published on the intranet.

Caroline said: "We had a huge number of really good questions so thank you to everyone who not only attended the event but who also took the time to comment, question and engage with us.

"I hope we were able to provide reassurance and confidence about the current situation and we will do our best to answer all the other questions as soon as possible.

"Andy, Mike and their public health team have been doing a superb job throughout the pandemic and they have been very well supported by many, many colleagues across the full range of services. Everyone has been playing their part in helping to keep the East Riding as safe as possible and I thank you all for that."

The event covered a wide range of topics in relation to COVID-19, including health services, workplace safety and working practices, home and other agile working, the economy, scientific aspects of the virus and consideration of what may happen in the future.

All staff are encouraged to promote their support for the 3 Steps To Safety campaign, particularly among the younger generation, as statistics show that people in their late teens and twenties are less likely to follow COVID-19 safety guidance such as social distancing.

Andy said: "Younger people can sometimes not even be aware they are infected so if they don't socially distance and follow the simple 3 Steps To Safety guidance they can unwittingly be the link in the chain which passes on the virus."

The 3 Steps To Safety are:

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 as soon as possible if you or someone close to you has them:

                        - a high temperature

                        - a new, continuous cough

                        - a loss or change to your 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 as soon as possible
  • 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

If you do have any symptoms, you can request a test at www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test or by calling 119, and staff are also advised to follow the latest Government guidance on wearing face coverings (unless you are exempt) and other safety measures.

Andy said: "We all need to be constantly vigilant and remember that our own actions can help to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe.

"Please respect social distance, wash your hands and wear face coverings where appropriate and if you're not exempt; be aware of COVID-19 symptoms so you notice them in yourselves or your loves as soon as possible; and it's crucially important that you act immediately, if you do notice any symptoms, by getting tested and self-isolating."

The presentation slides from the event are available to view here by downloading or opening the PowerPoint file and you can watch a recording of the Teams event at any time by clicking here and joining the event as an attendee.

You can read more about the East Riding Outbreak Management Plan and the 3 Steps To Safety at www.eastriding.gov.uk/3stepstosafety


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