Testing and tracing is at the heart of new plans revealed by Devon County Council (DCC) on how to contain coronavirus in the county - and the council will also be advising other authorities on managing local outbreaks.

Devon County Council has unveiled a new plan on how coronavirus will be combatted in the future. Picture: Getty/GoogleDevon County Council has unveiled a new plan on how coronavirus will be combatted in the future. Picture: Getty/Google

DCC has released the Local Outbreak Management Plan which details the future of coronavirus prevention across the county as well as how the organisations involved will provide a fast response to any future outbreaks of the virus.

Those who are particularly vulnerable to Covid-19 such as the elderly, those with underlying health conditions, black and ethnic communities and those with learning difficulties and autism will receive additional support.

Devon’s director of public health, Virginia Pearson, is head of a committee set up to oversee resources needed for a swift response should another outbreak occur.

Dr Pearson said: “This comprehensive plan details how we will work with the new NHS Test and Trace Service and ensures we have the necessary capacity and capability to provide a fully co-ordinated approach to contain and manage local outbreaks of Covid-19.

“The plan isn’t set in stone. It provides a blueprint for action, but it will need regular updating as new national guidance is produced or legislation changes.

“Containing local outbreaks successfully will need to be a co-ordinated effort with specialists from Public Health England, the NHS, social care, district councils, education, the police, the private sector, employers and the community and voluntary sectors.”

DCC is one of 11 beacon councils selected to help other authorities, and its leader John Hart will chair Team Devon which will monitor how the Local Outbreak Management Plan is implemented and liaise directly with government ministers.

He said: “The vast majority of Devon people have behaved with great sense and responsibility throughout the pandemic and that’s meant we’ve had the lowest number of outbreaks by some way throughout the crisis.

“We obviously want to keep it that way and reduce it still further. We can now build on this effort and extend the work we have done together as Team Devon to protect our residents and support the most vulnerable.”

To read the plan in full, or for more information, visit https://www.devon.gov.uk/coronavirus-advice-in-devon/lomp/.