THE first case of Coronavirus has been confirmed in Warrington involving an individual who recently returned from Italy.
It is understood to be a “contained case” with the person “self isolating” and receiving appropriate care and treatment at home.
They tested positive after returning from a trip to Italy.
Warrington Borough Council, Public Health England (PHE) and the NHS say they are well prepared to deal with coronavirus, with a priority to safeguard local communities, which sometimes involves taking preventative measures to help reduce the risk of further cases.
Working closely in partnership with the NHS, Public Health England and other partners, they are now working to minimise the risk to the public and to trace others who might be affected.
A spokesperson said: “We ensure that someone with coronavirus doesn’t put others at risk by treating them in isolation and carefully investigating who they had close contact with through contact tracing.
“The tracing and managing of contacts who have had significant exposure to the confirmed case of coronavirus is being co-ordinated by PHE.
“If a person tests positive, we speak to the patient to identify anyone who has had close contact with them during the time they are considered to be infectious and then trace these people as soon as possible.
“Once we have contacted them we can then give them the advice they need. If they are in groups considered to be a higher risk, we will ensure that we follow up with them daily to see how they are. If they become unwell we are then able to assess them quickly and take appropriate action.”
Cllr Maureen McLaughlin, cabinet member for housing, public health and wellbeing, said: “I’d like to reassure people that the risk to the general public remains low and the council is working with health colleagues, and a range of other partners, to do everything we can to stop the virus spreading and ensure the people of Warrington are protected.
“Good hygiene is the best prevention and there are some simple steps you can take to protect you and your family by washing your hands regularly and thoroughly, and if you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue and then bin it straight away.
“If you have recently been to one of the affected countries and are feeling unwell, you should contact NHS 111 for further advice straight away – please don’t go to your GP practice. There is lots of advice on how people can protect themselves online at nhs.uk/coronavirus.”
Dr Andrew Davies, Clinical Chief Officer for NHS Warrington Clinical Commissioning Group said: “We can confirm that a Warrington resident who recently returned from Italy has tested positive for coronavirus. The individual in question is self-isolating and receiving all the appropriate treatment and care.
“We want to reassure the public that the NHS in Warrington and PHE are well prepared for dealing with cases of coronavirus and we are working closely together to keep the public as safe as possible. However, we all have a crucial role to play in containing the spread of the virus and protecting ourselves and others. Please be reminded to wash your hands with soap and water more often and for a duration of 20 seconds each time. If you can’t wash your hands, please use hand sanitizer. All the latest information and advice about what you need to do and self-isolation available to view at nhs.uk/coronavirus.”
If you are not contacted directly by PHE you don’t need to do anything, other than follow the existing advice for the general public.