Cabinet endorse regional Covid-19 Prevention and Response Plan

Bridgend County Borough Council’s cabinet has endorsed a regional action plan which outlines a raft of measures to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 and respond to any incidents or outbreaks of the virus.

The Covid-19 Prevention and Response Plan which covers the Cwm Taf Morgannwg region has been co-ordinated with local authorities and the local health board.

It describes in detail the roles, key objectives and measures for six different workstreams which are overseen by a regional strategic oversight group, chaired by the Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board’s executive director for public health.

The plan also sets out the arrangements in place to prevent the spread of infection among the most vulnerable, to help mitigate and control the impact of the infection and to monitor the infection in communities as well as what action will be taken to escalate any problems that may require a decision around local actions or restrictions.

Council leader Huw David said: “The Cwm Taf Covid-19 Prevention and Response Plan provides a robust approach to how the region has responded effectively to the threat from Covid-19 and sets out clearly how it will continue to do so.

“Any incident or outbreak in a setting or community will require specific consideration of the particular circumstances.

“It is anticipated that many clusters and incidents can be managed through the Test Trace Protect programme without necessarily the need for closures of premises or wider lockdown restrictions. In the event of a more significant outbreak of infection, robust arrangements are in place for investigation, management and control.”

A cluster of cases refers to two or more cases identified within a 14-day period in the same setting while a potential incident refers to two or more confirmed cases who are direct close contacts, proximity contacts or in the same group in the setting within 14 days.

Local authorities have a central role in the management of the Covid-19 response in Wales – demonstrated in the provision of social care and support to the most vulnerable residents, the childcare hubs delivering support to essential key workers and supporting vulnerable children, the maintenance of essential services, the deployment of staff in the Test Trace Protect programme and response to incidents or outbreaks.

From the start of the Test Trace Protect programme, around 50 employees working for the local authority have been involved in the contact tracing team.

Cllr David said: “With the increased infection rate in the South Wales area over the last week and the local lockdown we have unfortunately seen in Caerphilly, we want to reassure our residents the necessary systems are in place to try and prevent a local lockdown in Bridgend county borough – if we do have to enter one at some stage, processes are in place to ensure we come out of it as soon as possible.

“The vast majority of residents continue to do what they have done so far, behaving responsibly and safely. To avoid a local lockdown we rely on the continued support from our communities in following the advice around social distancing and hygiene, washing hands regularly with soap or by using alcohol based sanitiser, and wearing a face covering in accordance with Welsh Government’s regulations.

“Data which gives an indication of infection rates within individual communities enables any increases in rates of infections to be identified early and local appropriate action to be implemented.

“Where deemed necessary to introduce locally enhanced measures, consideration will be informed by available evidence to limit ongoing transmission while minimising the impact on the local population and economy.”

Cabinet members endorsed the response plan, which will be monitored and updated on a regular basis, at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, September 15.