West Berkshire Council

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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Find information about community support and our services during the coronavirus pandemic, on our information for residents pages, our information for businesses pages, and our community support hub page which has guidance to help coordinate community organisations.

See a summary of our Local Outbreak Control Plan and read our frequently asked questions. 

Local Outbreak Control Plan (LOCP): Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs about our local outbreak control plan

We've produced a set of frequently asked questions about our Local Outbreak Control Plan (LOCP). For more details about our LOCP, visit our Local Outbreak Control Plan webpage.

Why is a local outbreak management plan needed?

West Berkshire Council has a statutory role to protect the health of our population. Following the recent relaxation of government restrictions (also known as lockdown), it is likely that infection rates and the number of people or have Covid-19 will differ from place to place. We therefore need to ensure that we have local plans in place that helps us co-ordinate an effective response and protect the health of our residents and communities

What constitutes an outbreak?

An 'outbreak' is an incident in which two or more persons have the same disease, in which there is a time, place and/or person association between these persons.  An outbreak may also be defined as a situation when the observed number of cases unaccountably exceeds the expected number.

What constitutes an incident?

An 'incident' has a broader meaning, it includes all events or situations which warrant investigation to determine if action is needed to manage the risk. In some instances, only one case may prompt the need for incident management and public health measures.

What is a "high risk" setting?

Settings that are considered high risk are places where it might be difficult to maintain social distancing or where people who are at particularly risk of Covid-19 might congregate. For example an enclosed building such as a factory with a large amount of workers in a confined space is more likely to be a place where Covid-19 spreads. By contrast a park would be seen as a low risk setting as people are easily able to socially distance and it is in the open air making it harder for the virus to transfer from person to person. We are working across these settings and with partners to ensure that they are provided with support around the measures needed to prevent outbreaks and

As a result of certain settings being recognised as high risk, the government and PHE have produced guidance to put measures in place at these settings in order to make them Covid-19 secure.

What will happen if there is an incident or an outbreak?

The West Berkshire LOCP will be triggered where there are suspected or confirmed Covid-19 outbreaks in any setting type. Public Health England Thames Valley Health Protection Team, The Berkshire wide Public Health Shared Team and West Berkshire Council will gather intelligence on Covid-19 outbreaks via the national NHS Test and Trace service, laboratory results, and local partner intelligence about suspected outbreaks.

What could this mean for you?

Every case is different and Public Health England will gather as much information as possible and use this to inform a risk assessment, before deciding on the right course of action to take.

The actions that we need take will often be proportionate to the risk and could range from individual people to self-isolate, to an entire school bubble needing to self-isolate or a business needing to temporarily close a building for a period of time. If there were multiple cases then more serious action or even closures might be necessary. We might also consider testing other people within a setting to find out whether transmission is happening. This might involve sending swabs to the setting or to people's houses, or we can arrange testing through mobile testing arrangements.

What can you do?

We encourage all residents to continue to adhere to all the social distancing guidance advised by the government, maintain good hygiene and wash your hands regularly, continue to keep up to date with national news around social distancing restrictions and also to keep up to date with local updates by signing up to the council newsletter, following our social media channels and keeping up to date with local news.

How does the LOCP align to Test and Trace?

When someone tests positive for Covid-19 they will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace - either online, by text or over the phone - and be asked to provide information on where they've been and who they have seen to inform what contact tracing is required.

If the positive case works in, lives in or has visited a setting such as a school, hospital, care home or work place - where establishing the level of contact tracing and self-isolation advice can be more complex or may involve vulnerable people - then they will be referred to the Thames Valley Public Health England Health Protection Team. The Health Protection team will then work with West Berkshire Council to provide advice to prevent onward spread of the virus.

What happens when you go for a test at a regional testing site? (Newbury Showground)

Watch the video below for more information about what happens at a regional testing site.

The below flowchart gives a summary of the process:

Coronavirus: Drive through testing flowchart graphic
Coronavirus: Drive through testing flowchart graphic