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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/reporting-outbreaks-of-coronavirus-covid-19/covid-19-early-outbreak-management
Applies to: England
How COVID-19 early outbreak management action cards help fight the virus
The action cards provide instructions to anyone responsible for a business or organisation on what to do in the event of one or more confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in your organisation.
These quick-reference guides provide key steps to help you quickly identify, report and respond to any potential COVID-19 outbreak within your local community. A COVID-19 outbreak is more than one confirmed case of COVID-19. Depending on the type of organisation, this may also include ‘possible’ cases of COVID-19.
The action cards have been developed to cover a range of businesses and organisations to provide specific advice on the issues each type of organisation may face now lockdown restrictions have been eased.
They complement existing outbreak control guidance, and signpost to other useful information to help business owners and managers fully understand their responsibilities in the event of an outbreak of COVID-19.
To access more information refer to the guidance below or search the titles on GOV.UK:
- Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19)
- COVID-19: cleaning in non-healthcare organisations outside the home
- NHS Test and Trace service in the workplace
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): safer travel guidance for passengers
When to use the early outbreak management action cards
If a confirmed case of COVID-19 has occurred in your business or organisation, go to the reporting an outbreak resource site to find the relevant type of organisation and follow the instructions on the action card. Depending on the type of organisation this may also include ‘possible’ cases of COVID-19, where coronavirus symptoms are present but a case has not been confirmed through testing.
The cards are designed to be printed or downloaded to keep on hand in your business or organisation.
Action cards by sector
Early outbreak management action card example
Steps to manage a possible outbreak
You may be informed of a confirmed case of COVID-19 by NHS Test and Trace, an employee, visitor or your local Public Health England health protection team (PHE HPT).
When you are informed of more than one confirmed case of COVID-19, with symptoms dating within 14 days of each other, go to step 2. Depending on the type of organisation this may also include ‘possible’ cases of COVID-19.
Immediately contact your local PHE HPT for help and advice. Every one of us plays a vital role in stopping the spread of COVID-19.
Early engagement with your local PHE HPT is important to minimise any possible wider outbreak in your community.
See below for information you may be asked to provide. Do not worry if you’re unable to answer all the questions. Your local PHE HPT will guide you through the process.
Your local PHE HPT will work with you to assess the risks and identify the most appropriate actions to take.
Depending on the outcome, your local PHE HPT and local authority may establish an outbreak control team to help manage the situation.
How to prevent a possible outbreak
General guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19
There are important actions that everyone should take at all times to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The guidance working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19) has practical steps to take, including how you must carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment for your organisation.
These should complement, not replace, steps you have already taken with environmental health teams, local authorities and local community infection prevention and control (IPC) teams.
Information your local PHE HPT may ask you to provide
Your local PHE HPT may ask you for your:
- location (including postcode and local authority)
- contact details (name, phone number, email)
They may also ask for details of the cases, including:
- contact details of the people affected
- when the individual or individuals became unwell
- when they were last present in the organisation
- the nature of the roles/job undertaken by anyone affected
- known links between the individuals with COVID-19
- number of people that the individual or individuals had close contact with
- nature of the environment
- details of control measures
- whether you’ve contacted other agencies, such as the local authority or Health and Safety Executive
Actions you may be asked to put in place
- enhanced hygiene, hand washing and cleaning regime
- use of personal protective equipment
- increased staff and visitors’ awareness and adherence to preventative measures
- enhanced testing and tracing