Ian Wake, Director of Public Health, provided Members with an update on COVID within in Thurrock.
· A snap shot of the COVID-19 Surveillance Dashboard for the 3 September 2020 was provided which provided details of the Exceedance RAG Report, Daily Tests and Confirmed Cases, Case Data, Contact Tracing, NHS Test and Trace and Google Mobility Report.
· That Thurrock remained at threat level zero.
· The rate of cases per 100,000 population (for last 7 days) was 5.16.
· Thurrock was ranked 135 nationally.
· The number of tests and positively rate had increased over the last seven days.
· The increase in community cases would be closely monitored.
· There had been a decrease in average age of those testing positive.
· There had been no evidence of increased health or care service use.
The Chair thanked Ian Wake for the very detailed presentation at very short notice and questioned whether the increase of those aged 30 was an indication that they had travelled on holiday. Ian Wake stated that was an interesting point as there had been some evidence that there had been some seeding especially from abroad but with the numbers so low it would be hard to confirm this.
Councillor Muldowney questioned what impact this would have on children going back to school. Ian Wake stated that more the epidemic had gone on a lot more had been learnt about risk and it was now known that not everyone was at equal risk with the risk increasing to those over the age of 50. Therefore if children were to get infected they would more than likely not have any serious health problems. That there was evidence that children would not contract COVID in the first place and less likely to transmit it if they were to contract it.
Councillor Rigby questioned at what threat level would have to be raised to before any thought of any local interventions and low local would these local interventions be. Ian Wake stated that being at zero threat level there had not been any interventions as there were detailed protocols for various risk settings with a full range of preventative work that would need to be continued within those settings. For example in care homes, video for school children and parents and the team were monitoring risks all the time. That a large scale lockdown intervention would be determined from advice from Public Health England to Central Government who would focus on the top 20 nationally, with Thurrock at 135 we were a long way from any national intervention at Thurrock level. Thurrock threat level would be raised to level 1 if there were any indication of sustained community transmission or a major outbreak in a setting or a substantial increase in hospital transmissions.
Councillor Holloway thanked Ian Wake for the update and thanked him and his team for the work undertaking in keeping the cases low in Thurrock and suggested that this report be a standing item on the work programme to which the Chair agreed.
Councillor Redsell requested that a copy of the PowerPoint be sent to Members, Democratic Services would pick up this action point.