Agenda and minutes
Venue: Virtual meeting
Apologies were received from Tessa Lindfield.
The minutes of the meeting dated 23 October 2020 were approved as a true and correct record.
Declarations of interest
There were no declarations of interest received.
Covid-19 situational report
Matt Pearce provided an update on the Covid-19 situation in West Berkshire. He stated that all data presented was correct as of Sunday November 8 2020. He also noted that the slides being presented were now in line with the rest of Berkshire and would be published on the Berkshire Public Health website.
New National Restrictions from Thursday November 5th:
· All Berkshire local authorities are following the new national restrictions from Thursday 5th November.
· This had replaced the local three-tier coronavirus alert system (Tiers 1, 2 and 3).
· The positivity rate was 6.3%
Epidemiology of cases:
Over the 14 days (20th October to 2nd November) there were 1,830 cases confirmed for Berkshire residents:
· 10% of cases were confirmed through Pillar 1 testing and 90% through Pillar 2 testing
· 50% were female and 49% male (8 cases were unknown)
· 53% were from a White background, 30% from a BAME group and 17% had no ethnicity information recorded
Test and Trace:
· Cases complete by the NTAT and contacts advised to isolate.
· Cumulative data up to 9th November ... view the full minutes text for item 40.
Matt Pearce noted that every time an incident happens, the Council works very closely with the setting to review and assess the settings to see how they can improve. He also stated than an outbreak was classified as 2 or more cases with highly probable or confirmed epidemiological links. In addition to these outbreaks, there were a number of ongoing outbreaks identified at an earlier stage.
Councillor Masters asked how the care home incidents were broken down in terms of council staff, such as agency.
Matt Pearce stated that he did not have the relevant data to hand but stated that the infection controls in care homes were robust. He noted that any cases that were picked up were dealt with quickly.
Andy Sharp invested additional capacity and ensuring care homes are covid-19 secure. He noted that care homes in West Berkshire were in a strong position to deal with care homes.
Sean Murphy provided an update on the new local contact tracing system. He noted that that the new local contact tracing service began on the 5th of November and that PHE rated West Berkshire highly in its ability to deliver the service. He stated that it did not replace national scheme, complements it and that the service would look at cases that had not been traced by the national scheme in the first 24 hours. He stated that the service had been set up by the public health team and was managed by the Public Protection team. He noted that 30 officers had been trained to manage the service, which would operate on a rota.
Phase 1- currently in
· Phone calls to contacts, including voicemails
· Follow up email if welfare support needed
· Operating between the hours of 9am- 4:30/5pm, 7 days per week.
How does the service work?
· Case details securely downloaded from national test and trace system
· Team leader allocates cases/ households to a call handler
· Call handler calls the resident and advises the importance of self-isolation and then completes contact tracing.
· Call handler offers signposts to welfare support
· Information then uploaded to national test and trace system
Benefits from LCT
· Calls from a local number
· Able to signpost individuals to welfare support
Action: Sean Murphy to provide a further update on contact tracing in a few weeks.
Councillor Vickers asked if the 30 staff managing contact tracing were Council staff.
Sean Murphy stated they were existing staff from different departments of the Council who worked on a rota.
Councillor Doherty asked how the phone calls would identify themselves.
Sean Murphy stated that the 01635 number showed when being called and that those contacted were also sent a confirmation email.
Councillor Masters asked if the national system provided any reasoning behind those who did not comply.
Sean Murphy stated that some people were not contactable, which may be a reluctance to answer unknown numbers. He also said that some people have shown a desire not to be contacted or share contact information. He stated that there were no numbers locally on non-compliance.
Mandip Bilkhu provided an overview of the work of the communications team in relation to Covid-19:
Councillor Vickers noted that she would like to see targeted messaging for the elderly population and whether this could be done and for communal areas in accommodation.
Councillor Doherty stated that the leaflet being sent to residents had a number of contact lines for residents, both email and phone to ask any Covid-19 related questions.
Mandip Bilkhu noted that those living on the borders of West Berkshire would also receive contact details of neighbouring authorities.
Councillor Vickers asked if there had been any feedback from previous leaflets.
Councillor Doherty stated that the resident’s survey had outlined a positive response to the previous leaflet.