With the release of the government’s Coronavirus: action plan- A guide to what you can expect across the UK in addition to the increasing number of cases within the UK, BDBC are working closely with agencies across the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Local Resilience Forum area, including Hampshire County Council and health partners to keep a close watch on the development of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak – with processes in place to respond if, and when required.
BDBC are focussing on precautionary planning well ahead by working through business continuity plans to protect key council services in the event of high levels of staff absence.
The council has set up a webpage at www.basingstoke.gov.uk/coronavirus to give easy access to the latest national and local advice and information. This directs to Government’s webpages, at www.gov.uk/coronavirus.
The advice remains to focus on good respiratory and hand hygiene and specifically:
- Wash your hands more often and for at least 20 seconds. NHS hand washing technique advice can be found here
- Use soap and water or a hand sanitiser when you: get home or into work; blow your nose, sneeze or cough; and eat or handle food.
- Hand sanitiser should be used only when you don’t have access to soap and water – as soap and water remains the best method to maintain hand hygiene.
- Hands should be dried thoroughly after washing.
In the council offices, paper towels are being introduced into hand-washing areas to support good hand hygiene practice. The IT team is also warning to be aware of an increase in malware and ransomware linked to covid-19 and therefore please don’t click links from unknown sources which may suggest they can provide more information/ advice about the virus.
The message has to be to remain calm and follow the advice from Public Health England. At this stage there is no requirement to restrict gathering or social activities in any specific age ranges. To reduce pressure on the NHS, it is important that people with mild symptoms stay at home and follow the same treatment as ‘ordinary’ ‘flu or colds.