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Knowsley Council’s Cabinet approves new Outbreak Management Plan

by Guy Murphy

In June 2020 Knowsley Council developed a a Local Outbreak Management Plan, detailing how its response to the pandemic. The original plan was published in July 2020, but given the changing situation with COVID-19, the plan has been updated and the revised plan was endorsed at Cabinet on Wednesday 8 September.

The updated plan looks back at how the borough has responded to, and tackled, the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes capturing the key actions, activities, interventions and developments that have taken place as the response to the pandemic has shifted to being locally led.

Looking forward, the plan responds to the new phase in response to the pandemic, moving away from restrictions towards advising people on how to protect themselves and others, alongside targeted interventions to reduce risk.

The Outbreak Management Plan outlines 10 local priority areas which Knowsley will deliver on during the next six months:

  • PRIORITY AREA 1: Vaccination – Support the continued roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine programme (including the winter booster) and identify and tackle inequalities in vaccine coverage.
  • PRIORITY AREA 2: Effective Surveillance – Ensure access to timely local data and intelligence to inform local activity to prevent and manage outbreaks.
  • PRIORITY AREA 3: Engagement and Communication – Build trust and participation through effective community engagement and communication.
  • PRIORITY AREA 4: Higher-risk Settings, Communities and Locations – Identify and support high-risk workplaces, locations, and communities to prevent and manage outbreaks.
  • PRIORITY AREA 5: Supporting Vulnerable and Underserved Communities – Proactively support individuals and communities by ensuring services across test, trace, isolate, and support systems are accessible and meet the diverse needs of local communities.
  • PRIORITY AREA 6: Testing – Identify cases of COVID-19 by ensuring access to testing for those with or without symptoms.
  • PRIORITY AREA 7: Contact Tracing – Effectively deploy local contact tracing and welfare calls to reduce the onward transmission of COVID-19.
  • PRIORITY AREA 8: Support for Self-Isolation – Support residents to access both financial and also practice support as appropriate for self-isolation.
  • PRIORITY AREA 9: Responding to Variants of Concern – Develop robust plans and work with local, regional, and national partner agencies to enable surge capacity to respond to local outbreaks and variants of concern.
  • PRIORITY AREA 10: Compliance, Enforcement, and Living with COVID-19 – Work collaboratively to inform best practice to enable a safe return to living with COVID-19. Guide, inform, and support local compliance with regulations and restrictions, including taking enforcement action where appropriate.

You can view the full Outbreak Management Plan here.

Cllr Graham Morgan, Leader of Knowsley Council and Chair of the Knowsley Outbreak Management Board, said: “The Outbreak Management Plan is a vital document that outlines Knowsley’s ongoing response to COVID-19.

“Since the plan was first published in July 2020, the context in which we are dealing and living with COVID-19 has dramatically shifted and it is therefore important that the plan is updated to reflect this.

“I am pleased that the plan has been approved and we can continue working to support our residents, businesses and the wider borough as we learn to live with and recover from the effects of COVID-19.”