Dorset Council has released the latest update of Dorset’s Covid-19 in an online Q&A session with residents.
Leading the discussion were Dorset, director of public health, Sam Crow, and Matt Processor, chief executive of Dorset Council.
During the meeting, which focused specifically on Dorset rather than the BCP, both Mr. Crowe and Mr. Processor provided updates on the coronavirus situation in Dorset and answered questions submitted by Sam residents.
At the start of the meeting, Mr Crow discussed how there had been a sharp rise in coronavirus cases in early October, which is thought to be a combination of winter weather, high infection rates and returns to schools and colleges.
Despite this increase, Dorset Council remains at one level within the three-tier structure.
Mr Crowe said: “I am delighted to say that the first two weeks of October have seen a sharp rise in the number of infections. We are in a reasonable position.”
The increase in recent weeks is believed to be the result of an infection in a family, which is a major pattern in the Dorset Council area.
The issue of levels was later discussed thanks to a residential question.
The resident asked: “If we move to a higher level, how will that work and how will the decision be made? Would this be a different situation for Pan Dorset or BCC vs. Dorset? ”
In response, Mr Crowe detailed how Dorset would move to a higher level in consultation with the government to make any decision.
He also mentioned the Health Protection Board which works in both Dorset Council and BCP Council.
This board gathers regularly to view the Covid-19 data which is discussed later
Mr Crowe said: “We will work with the local outbreak board to consider whether there is a need to go to a higher level if cases continue to escalate. It is important that this is a considered decision and not something that is required or imposed on very short notice.”
If the case rates were very different between the two council regions, we would probably see BCP Council and Dorset Council at different alert levels.
Mr Crowe added: “The idea I get is that the government is looking for this continuity with a lot of people living in one area and traveling to work elsewhere. If we see the rise of other councils in the Southwest, not just Dorset Council – We can look forward to regional discussions on leveling. ”
The final question of the night was asking whether Dorset Council was offering local tests and traces
According to Mr. Purchase, the matter has been discussed extensively with the regional health protection team and local decisions have been made and not traced.
Mr Crow said: “This is because we work very closely with the regional health protection team to follow high-risk settings such as care homes and it is working really well.”
The current completion rate in the Dorset Council area is more than 70 percent for follow-up in positive cases and the completion rate for communication in this case is also about 70 percent.
It still includes 15 percent in both categories which is still running within the system.
Mr Crowe added: “It is important that we do not duplicate or confuse what is happening with the national test and trace service. For now, we are not taking local tests and traces, but we are discussing them regularly if the situation changes.”