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COVID-19 outbreak update 27/08/2020

27 August 2020

The good news: there are no new cases associated with this outbreak today.

We have issued reminders to all our businesses about the need to be aware of the threat of COVID-19 and the importance of sticking to the guidance.

We are in direct contact with all the businesses whose details we were given by the 11 young people who tested positive.

We have worked with NHS national track and trace systems to make sure the relevant residents and businesses have been contacted. If there are concerns about customers at any relevant venues, they will have been contacted.

Contact tracing is an ongoing process and the reality is that all venues across the city should be taking extra precautions to make sure they are COVID-secure.

The team have been in touch with all close contacts – if you haven’t been contacted you do not need to be concerned over and above normal COVID-19 vigilance.

Testing

There are two main ways to access a COVID-19 test in Plymouth, both of which can be booked on the online portal www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testingand-tracing/ask-for-a-test-to-check-if-you-have-coronavirus or by calling 119.

You can either book to attend the drive-through test centre which is on Tavistock Road, Seaton Barracks; obviously this can only be accessed if you can drive.  Or you can request the kit to be delivered to your home.

We understand there is a national issue with the booking system for local tests that means that users aren’t always being directed to their nearest testing station.

We have raised this as a matter of urgency with the testing team from the Department of Health and Social Care. We are told there is a capacity issue at the labs to process results and resource nationally may have been diverted to areas where there are already many more cases. While understandable, it’s not ideal as testing is key to preventing the virus spreading

If you can’t book online, call 119 and they will tell you what do.

The testing centres should be open from 8am until at least 6.30pm depending on their bookings.

Questions

We've been asked quite a few questions over the last 24 hours. Here's a few we've been asked a lot... 

Why are you not naming the venues impacted by the recent cluster of COVID-19 cases?

All of the venues involved have been contacted to ensure they are COVID-secure and that contacts can be traced. The danger in announcing specific venues means we could unnecessarily cause concern for people who were not close contacts and secondly all venues need to be watchful. 

Contact tracing is an ongoing process and the reality is that all venues across the city should all be taking extra precautions to make sure they are COVID-secure.

Plymouth City Council's Public Health Team has been working closely with businesses across the city to ensure they can operate safely throughout the pandemic.  

Will this lead to a local lockdown?

The number of cases in this cluster is well below that which would trigger a local lockdown. This is because, in general, we have a low rate of coronavirus transmission in Plymouth. However, we do not want to have to lock down again so it is important we get ahead of the outbreak and control the spread of the virus. This is why it is so important to keep doing the right thing; stick to the guidelines and keep Plymouth #safeandsound

How many venues have been affected?

All venues that need to be contacted have been contacted. Providing specific numbers will encourage unnecessary speculation into which venues have been affected. These are venues that have complied and worked with the council to do the right thing and ensure they are COVID-secure. Because of their cooperation with contact tracing recommendations, we have been able to contact other patrons. 

We are managing the containment of this cluster within Plymouth. Other areas are managed by other organisations.