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We can expect a challenging next few months ahead, warns Director of Public Health

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Following the Prime Minister’s announcement today (Tuesday 14 September) regarding the government’s Winter Plan, Steve Brown, Devon’s Director of Public Health, said:

“Coronavirus is still with us, and while case rates in Devon have fallen in recent weeks, they are likely to rise again. We can expect a challenging next few months into autumn and winter.

“Clearly the health and care system nationally and locally is already under strain, and the additional winter pressures will only make the delivery of those services even more challenging.

“National and local public health teams are already working hand in hand with the NHS to do all that can be done to help keep people safe and well.

“The Prime Minister, while explaining the government’s Plan B should pressures on the health service escalate, refers in his plans to the role of local authorities in helping to curb any surge in case numbers.

“We have excellent data on coronavirus cases in the county. We are monitoring that closely, and right now working really closely with schools and colleges following their return to the classroom last week. And we are prepared, should the data require it, to support the implementation of any additional measures we are required to put in place locally or at a county level, in order to halt any spread of coronavirus.

“In what shape or where those additional measures will be, will depend on the data, and whether any surge in cases is relatively localised or wider-spread. More testing, self-isolating, and the wearing of face coverings – these are all measures that will be on the table should we need them.”