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Norfolk Guidance: Reporting an outbreak of COVID-19

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Community Action Norfolk are sharing this on behalf of NHS Norfolk and Waveney, please contact them directly with any queries.

Changing how you report suspected outbreaks of COVID-19

We have made a change to how you report a suspected outbreak of COVID-19. This guidance note sets out the two actions you now need to take if your organisation has a suspected outbreak.

Remember, an ‘outbreak’ is a very small number of cases (2 or more cases), in a setting that is at high risk - either due to the vulnerability of its people, high risk of spread between people, or where the impact of further transmission of infection has particularly high consequences. 

Examples of an outbreak include a case of COVID-19 in a residential care home, or two or more cases in a community setting such as a community clinic, residential unit or drop-in service.

Here are the two actions you need to take if your organisation has an outbreak:

Action 1: Report the outbreak to the local health protection team

You must continue to report any outbreaks of COVID-19 to the local health protection team, as you would with any communicable disease, in line with your legal duty.

You can find the contact details of your local health protection team here: www.gov.uk/health-protection-team.

How will this help you?

You must report an outbreak as you have a legal duty to.

The local health protection team will work with you to agree a plan for managing the outbreak.

Action 2: Inform the county council’s public health team

Once you have reported the outbreak to your local health protection team, as soon as possible afterwards, you should inform the county council’s public health team.

If you are based in Norfolk, you must do this by emailing: [email protected].

If you are based in Waveney / Suffolk, you must do this by emailing: [email protected].

How will this help you?

The public health team and other local health and care services will be able to provide you with advice, guidance and support to implement your plan for managing the outbreak.

Importantly, informing the public health team will help us to understand locally how the virus is spreading, where there are outbreaks and what actions need to be taken to keep you, your family, friends safe, and to protect your community.

The information you need to provide

When you email the public health team, please include the following information:

  • Date of onset of the first case
  • Total number of symptomatic patients / service users / customers (suspected or confirmed cases)
  • Total number of symptomatic staff (suspected or confirmed cases) and the total number of staff who work at the site where the outbreak is
  • Has testing been arranged? Yes / No
  • Have you been advised, either verbally or by email, about infection control / outbreak control measures you can put in place? Yes / No

Our Local Outbreak Control Plans for Norfolk and Suffolk  

If you would like to find out more about the work being done locally to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to manage any outbreaks, read our Local Outbreak Control Plans:

Guidance on infection prevention and control

National guidance on infection prevention and control can be found here: www.gov.uk/government/publications/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-infection-prevention-and-control