Katie Spence Deputy Director, Health Protection, Public Health England, West Midlands, said:
“Public Health England is contacting people who had close contact with one of the latest confirmed cases of COVID-19. The case is a resident within Shropshire Council local authority area who became infected whilst travelling in Italy. Close contacts will be given health advice about symptoms and emergency contact details to use if they become unwell in the 14 days after contact with the confirmed case. This tried and tested method will ensure we are able to minimise any risk to them and the wider public.
“We will not be commenting further on the details of this particular case due to need to protect patient confidentiality.”
Rachel Robinson, Director of Public Health for Shropshire Council said:
“I’d like to reassure people that the risk to the general public remains low and Shropshire Council is working with health colleagues to do everything we can to stop the virus spreading and ensure the people of Shropshire are protected.
“The patient was tested in the community and is self-isolating. Public Health England (PHE) are identifying and speaking to those who have been in close contact with the individual and will follow up with any appropriate action.
“We have been and continue to work closely with our PHE and NHS partners to do everything we can to help prevent the spread of the virus.
“Good hygiene is the best prevention and there are some simple steps you can take to protect you and your family by washing your hands regularly and thoroughly and if you cough, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue.
“If you have recently been to one of the affected areas and are feeling unwell, you should phone the NHS 111 helpline for further advice straight away – please don’t go to your doctor or a hospital. There’s lots of advice on how people can protect themselves online at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus.”
Shropshire Council has been working closely with Telford and Wrekin Council, Public Health England (PHE), NHS England and local health and care partners, to prepare and respond to COVID-19 (coronavirus).
All partners continue to work together to co-ordinate appropriate action and resources to protect the public’s health. Partners and services are working closely to support each other to ensure organisations have the capacity to respond to COVID-19 whilst still being able to provide essential everyday services. This includes the setting up of Shropshire Local Health Resilience Partnership (LHRP)* to co-ordinate plans and prepare for any changes in the situation, should they arise. All partners keep in regular contact and take part in daily and weekly update meetings with both local, regional and national colleagues.
Work currently being undertaken:
- Promoting national guidance and key messages to the public, staff and organisations, including schools and businesses.
- Advising anyone who believes they may have coronavirus to call NHS 111 or use the NHS 111 online services.
- Shropshire Community NHS Trust is carrying out home and community testing and is setting up ‘drive-thru’ testing centres across Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin.
* The LHRP includes representatives from: Shropshire Council, Telford & Wrekin Council, NHS England and Improvement, Emergency Preparedness Resilience and Response (EPRR) leads, Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, Shropshire Community Health Trust, Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Foundation Trust, Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group, Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group, Public Health England and Shropshire and Telford LMC.
- Shropshire Council PHE and the NHS are well prepared to deal with coronavirus. Our priority is to safeguard local communities which sometimes involves taking preventative measures to help reduce the risk of further cases.
- To date more than 26,261 people have been tested in the UK, of which 25,888 were confirmed negative and 373.
- We advise people to follow the advice being issued by PHE, NHS and local authorities.
- We cannot comment further on individual cases due to patient confidentiality.
- Details on testing are published daily at 2pm and includes a breakdown of negative and positive tests https://www.gov.uk/guidance/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-information-for-the-public
For more information and advice on coronavirus (COVID-19):