Residents across Sussex are being reassured that they do not need to take action around Coronavirus unless they have been contacted by Public Health England.
Following the announcement last week that one of the confirmed 2019 Novel Coronavirus cases in the UK is from the Brighton and Hove area, Public Health England has carried out a thorough risk assessment and is tracing this individual’s movements in the last fortnight.
Public Health England is prioritising contacting people who might have had close and sustained contact with the individual as a precaution to provide them with health advice about any symptoms in case they become unwell. These individuals are being advised to “self-isolate” which means they should stay at home and avoid contact with other people as a precaution. It does not mean they are ill and people who have had contact with these individuals do not need to take action.
People who have not been contacted by Public Health England are being advised they should go about their daily routine as usual.
NHS services are open as usual across Sussex and measures are in place to ensure the safety of all patients and NHS staff while also ensuring services are available to the public as normal.
It has today been confirmed that a healthcare worker working in the Accident & Emergency (A&E) Unit at Worthing Hospital tested positive for coronavirus. They treated a small number of patients on 4th and 5th February before they became unwell, followed advice and self-isolated. Public Health England (PHE) is contacting all patients seen by this individual and all colleagues who came into close contact with them, to advise on the precautions they need to take.
All services at Worthing Hospital, including surgery and outpatient appointments are operating normally.
Two GP practices, who share the same building in Brighton and Hove, were being cleaned as a precaution but are now running as normal. A very small number of patient appointments were rearranged to allow this to happen.
On advice from the Chief Medical Officer, the risk has been declared as “moderate” – a level which allows government to plan for all eventualities but that ultimately, that the risk to individuals remains “low”.
Everyone is being reminded to follow Public Health England advice to:
- Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
You can find the latest information and advice from Public Health England at www.gov.uk/coronavirus