CHESHIRE West and Chester Council is making preparations in case a local coronavirus outbreak occurs in the borough.

Following the news this week that Leicester has become the first city which has had to re-impose a local lockdown following a spike in the number of new coronavirus cases, the council has published a plan which aims to protect lives, livelihoods and the community from the continuing threat of coronavirus over the months to come.

While virus infection rates have fallen and the number of those dying from coronavirus has fallen gradually since its peak in early April, the virus is still very much a threat and the council says it has a local responsibility to help protect communities in containing it.

As the Test and Trace scheme becomes more efficient, it will enable local authorities to manage and prevent the spread of the virus.

The coronavirus Outbreak Prevention, Management and Support Plan aims to prevent the spread of the virus and outlines how the council will protect the community, in partnership with regional organisations such as Public Health England North West, if local outbreaks occur in the borough.

The definition of an outbreak is two or more cases who have tested positive for Covid-19 within the same 14-day period, in people who either work or have visited a setting.

The plan explains how the Council’s new Covid-19 Management Hub will:

  • advise how the community can prevent outbreaks
  • identify and declare a local outbreak
  • manage a local outbreak
  • declare the end of an outbreak
  • support clinically vulnerable people who have tested positive and are self-isolating

A new, member-led, cross-party, Covid-19 Outbreak Board will be chaired by the leader of the council, Councillor Louise Gittins. It will engage with local communities and provide democratic oversight of the delivery of the plan.

Cllr Gittins said: “As part of the community’s response to Covid-19, there have been some inspiring examples of people helping one another, such as the incredible contribution that volunteers have made to supporting people who are shielding. You have been playing your part.

“By establishing our borough’s Outbreak Prevention, Management and Support Plan, the council continues to play its part. It explains how we will protect our communities in the event of a local outbreak, which we hope does not happen.

“In the meantime, continue to play your part to protect the lives of your family, friends, neighbours and colleagues by self-reporting if you have symptoms, getting a test and self-isolating if you test positive or are asked to do so by a contact tracer.”

Director of Public Health for Cheshire West Ian Ashworth said: “The UK has passed the peak of transmission of Covid-19 and case numbers are decreasing. This has enabled stringent public health and social measures to be adjusted across the UK.

“As the lockdown eases, our Outbreak Prevention, Management and Support Plan is essential if west Cheshire is to return to normal over the coming months. It sets out how we will identify any local outbreaks of the virus and then manage these situations if they arise, protecting lives, the community and allowing the local economy to recover.

“We can all help our community by remembering to wash our hands, avoid large gatherings and keep physical distance. People should get a test and self-isolate if they have Covid symptoms.”

Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Outbreak Management Plan is available to view at

Cheshire West and Chester Council is one of 11 councils chosen by the Government nationally to be a beacon council; part of a national Good Practice Network to share best practice within their regions.

  • Protect yourself and your family and friends by getting a coronavirus test if you have symptoms of a persistent cough, fever or loss of taste and smell by calling 119 or visiting Protect your community by then self-isolating for 14 days if you have symptoms or if alerted to do so by a contact tracer.