Havering pilot project aims to keep COVID infection rates low

Havering Council has launched a new COVID-19 pilot project, to help support residents that need to isolate.

The council has recruited and trained staff to work with Havering residents that have tested positive or may have been exposed to COVID-19.

The project will offer a friendly point of contact for those residents and provide an efficient response to further outbreaks if they arise.

These Isolation Outreach Officers will visit every positive case in the community to check how they are coping with isolation, and asking whether they need any financial or non-financial support that the council could offer.

Mark Ansell, director of public health, said: “Whilst we continue to see a fall in infection rates, it is vital that anyone told to self-isolate continues to follow that advice so that we can drive out the infection. This local approach will allow us to be even more effective, as well as offer support to residents that need it.”

Under the previous national contact tracing system it could take between 2-3 days for positive cases to be passed from Public Health England to local teams. This pilot means those returning a positive test will now be called by Havering’s Isolation Outreach Team, with up to two visits to each positive case over the 10 day isolation period.

Councillor Damian White, leader of Havering Council, said: “Early identification of transmission is vital to reducing the number of COVID-19 infections With this local approach, we can react faster and effectively so we can support our residents, save lives and prevent the spread of the virus.”

More information is available at: https://www.havering.gov.uk/info/20191/coronavirus_covid_19/816/covid_19_self-isolation_support

Mick Ferris

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