Coronavirus outbreak at caravan site near Craven Arms
An outbreak of Covid-19 has been confirmed at a caravan park in south Shropshire, .
Three positive cases have been confirmed at the site near Craven Arms according to Shropshire Council.
Everyone on the site has been told to self-isolate for 14 days.
Testing of more than 40 residents was arranged this week after two people living on the site tested positive. The council said the group living there has been cooperative with health practitioners.
Although councillors said that the risk to the general public is low, testing will be available in Craven Arms from tomorrow.
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Rachel Robinson, director of public health at Shropshire Council, said: “Our priority is to protect the health and wellbeing of all residents in our community.
“As soon as we were notified of the first cases, we arranged immediate testing with residents from the site to allow us to understand transmission and help control the spread of infection.
“We continue to support the residents on the site and have advised residents to remain onsite during the period of isolation and stay within household groups, to reduce risk of spread within the site and into the wider community.
“Anyone who has a fever, persistent dry cough, or loss or change in their sense of taste or smell should call 119 or go online to arrange a test. Testing services are available across the county but will also be available locally in Craven Arms from this Saturday, July 25.
"Anyone who has symptoms should book online or through NHS 119."
Councillor Dean Carroll, cabinet member with responsibilities for public health and adult social care, said: “Our focus remains the health and wellbeing of residents and the wider community while we work to contain and control the spread of Covid-19.
“At this phase of the pandemic, we still expect to see cases in the community and within settings where people are closer together, which is why test and trace is so important, to help us pick up on any potential problems and to swiftly take remedial action to reduce the spread.
“We would also like to remind everyone to follow social distancing advice to reduce their social interaction with other people. Good hand hygiene remains the best protection against the virus, including washing your hands more regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, wearing a face covering when using public transport or going to the shops and supermarkets, and covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.”
Councillor Lee Chapman, for Church Stretton and Craven Arms, and chair of the council's health and wellbeing board, added: “We want to reassure local residents who have any concerns, that the risk to the general public is low. We know that coronavirus is still very much with us and we do expect to see clusters of cases during a pandemic of this nature.
“Our public health team and partners are working with the local community to help prevent the spread of infection.
“I do strongly encourage people to follow the government guidelines to help protect yourself and others. We all need to play our part to help stop the spread of coronavirus.”
Steve Gregory, executive director of nursing and operations at the Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust, said: “We responded quickly to the request yesterday to attend the site and performed Covid-19 tests on more than 40 residents. I would like to thank our team for their prompt and professional actions.
“I would also like to reassure the people of Craven Arms that the risk to their own health is low as long as they continue to follow all guidance – wash your hands regularly, observe social distancing.
"Face coverings are of course mandatory in shops as of today. We must all do everything we can to protect ourselves and each other.”
Dr Carol Chatt, consultant in communicable disease control with Public Health England Midlands, said: “We are working closely with the local authority and NHS partners to prevent the spread of infection, both on the site and to the wider community.
"One of the main method of preventing spread is to identify cases quickly and advise contacts to isolate. We would like to remind everyone to arrange a test if symptomatic and engage with the NHS Test and Trace service if contacted.”
Shropshire Council’s Covid-19 helpline is on 0345 678 9028 or visit shropshire.gov.uk/coronavirus for more information