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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
Where to find information on how to report cases of coronavirus in your organisation
COVID-19 early outbreak management information has been created to make sure that people who run businesses or organisations:
- know how to recognise and report an incident of coronavirus (COVID-19)
- are aware of measures local health protection teams may advise in order to contain it
This information is contained within ‘action cards’ that have been designed for specific situations where an outbreak could occur. This could be a restaurant or office, a construction site or a place of worship.
The action cards are designed to be downloaded or printed and kept on hand in your business or organisation.
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
Download commercial workplace action cards for:
- contact centres, offices and operations rooms
Download consumer workplace action cards for:
- dress fitters, tailors and fashion designers
- hairdressing, barbershops, beauty and nail bars, makeup, and tattoo and spray tanning studios
- shops and branches
- spas, sports and massage therapy, well-being and holistic centres
Download education action cards for:
- early-years settings
- further education
- higher education
- primary, secondary and special schools, and alternative provision for schools
- residential settings in education
Food and drink
Download food and drink action cards for:
- food delivery, food to go and mobile catering
- food truck, kiosks, stands and open-air markets
- food contract catering
- restaurants, pubs, bars, cafes and takeaways
Download industrial workplace action cards for:
- construction and outdoor work
- laboratory and research facilities
- manufacturing of food and other large processing plants
- working in factories, plants, warehouses and waste management and storage sites
Download institutions action cards for:
- approved premises
- armed forces and defence
- detention and immigration removal centres
- youth detention centres
Download residential workplace action cards for:
- campsites and caravan parks
- domestic abuse refuges
- entertainment and holiday resorts
- homelessness and rough sleeping accommodation
- hotels and other guest accommodation
Small and large gatherings
Download small and large gatherings workplace action cards for:
- arts, heritage and cultural venues
- business event venues
- children’s community activities, holiday clubs, after-school clubs, tuition and other out-of-school provision for children
- cinemas, theatres, comedy venues and music venues
- community activities and other hobby clubs
- grassroots sports, gyms and leisure facilities
- places of worship
- sports grounds and venues
- tourist attractions
Download travel action cards for:
- airports, seaports, stations and terminals
- harbours and marinas
- ships, ferries, aircrafts and other vessels
- taxis and hire cars
- trains, trams, tubes, buses and coaches
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 advise what actions to take.
Depending on the outcome, your local PHE HPT and local authority may establish an outbreak control team to help support you to 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