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First public meeting of York’s outbreak management advisory board

Published Friday, 19 June 2020

A new outbreak management advisory board has been established with local health professionals, the voluntary sector and councillors from across York, to effectively manage the response to coronavirus.

The York Outbreak Management Advisory Board will meet using webcast and is being put in place in order to improve the speed of the response, build on and involve local knowledge and improve co-ordination. Established as part of the national Test and Trace programme, the meetings will advise and inform the development of City of York Council’s outbreak management plan and a local Test and Trace programme, reflecting the views of different communities and sectors across the city.

The first meeting of the board comes after City of York Council was awarded £733,896 last week by the Government to support the creation of new boards, local outbreak control plans and preventative work designed to protect residents. Chaired by the Leader of City of York Council, Cllr Keith Aspden, with representatives across the city, the board will also work closely with the Local Resilience Forum, Public Health England and the Health and Wellbeing Board.

The local outbreak control plan will focus on seven key themes:

  1. care homes and schools
  2. planning for other outbreaks in high risk places, locations and communities
  3. local testing capacity
  4. contact tracing in complex settings
  5. integrating national and local data and scenario planning
  6. supporting vulnerable local people to get help to self-isolate
  7. establishing local boards

The board will meet in addition to existing infection control groups, monitoring and partnership working that is already taking place in the city.

Councillor Keith Aspden, Leader of City of York Council and Chair of the Outbreak Management Advisory Board said:

“The outbreak management advisory board has an important role to play in ensuring that York is kept safe as more of our city gradually reopens.  The board is being established to monitor Coronavirus in York and importantly, to improve the speed of the response, involve local knowledge and improve co-ordination. The board will involve experts from across the health, education and voluntary sector as well as senior councillors, in order to ensure that everything possible is done by health agencies locally.

“We will work together to ensure that the plans put in place improve York’s chances of continuing to see a reduction in cases. As a city we have well established partnerships and infection control measures which have helped to respond to Coronavirus so far. The new board will advise on the further development of this work and help the city to plan for any potential rises in cases, whilst assessing the robustness and effectiveness of preventative measures.

“Fortunately in York and the wider region the number of cases, hospitalisations and deaths is steadily falling. However, we must not be complacent and as the country eases restrictions, we will continue to work in partnership to make sure our city remains a safe place to live, work and visit.”

The date for the first meeting has been announced. It will take place on Monday 22 June and the meetings of the advisory board will be webcast for the public to watch.