Council prepares for future Covid outbreak

John Mason 82 receiving a Covid-19 vaccination in the crypt of Blackburn Cathedral, as ten further mass vaccination centres opened in England with more than a million over-80s invited to receive their coronavirus jab. Picture date: Monday January 18,
John Mason 82 receiving a Covid-19 vaccination in the crypt of Blackburn Cathedral, as ten further mass vaccination centres opened in England with more than a million over-80s invited to receive their coronavirus jab. Picture date: Monday January 18,

AN East Lancashire council hit hard by coronavirus is stepping up its preparations for future pandemics.

Blackburn with Darwen Council is also preparing to submit evidence to the national Covid-19 Public Inquiry.

A report to Thursday's full Council Forum meeting by health boss Damian Talbot outlines the state of the borough's Covid responsiveness.

It says: "It has been positive to see the coronavirus case rate declining in the borough over the summer.

"That being said, we are still here and will be supporting our high risk settings and communities as we move into the winter to ensure we can respond and support if we see a rise in case rates.

"Following the Covid-19 response de-brief session with chief officers we have now received a draft report with is being reviewed so the recommendations can be addressed.

"This exercise will enable the council to be better prepared for future events of this kind.

"We have also held a further session with partners we worked closely with throughout our response.

"The Covid-19 Public Inquiry has now been formally established and will examine, consider and report on preparations and response to the pandemic.

"Many sectors including local government will be asked to contribute to the inquiry and we look forward to supporting this important piece of work.

"The team will be attending an Local Government Association workshop in the coming weeks to understand more around the requirements of local authorities so we can ensure we respond and support appropriately.

"Over the summer the team have undertaken proactive work to encourage wider infection and prevention control (IPC) measures as this will also help support the reduction in the spread of other infectious illness such as flu.

"There have been 24 workshops delivered in the community, in main to young people at the summer holiday activity and food provisions, on hand hygiene and general IPC awareness, which has received excellent feedback.

"These workshops will be extended to adult social care and wider community partners throughout the autumn.

"Our key focus through the autumn and winter is supporting our NHS colleagues with the roll out of the Autumn Booster campaign. We are keen to ensure that those who are eligible can

get easy access to the vaccine."