A joint statement issued this morning (12th March 2020) by South Gloucestershire Council and Public Health England has confirmed the first case of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in South Gloucestershire.
The case is believed to be related to recent travel and the individual involved is now self-isolating at home.
Debra Lapthorne, centre director for Public Health England South West, said:
“Public Health England is contacting people who have had close contact with one confirmed case of COVID-19. The individual is a resident from the South Gloucestershire area, and was being cared for in isolated conditions at Southmead Hospital in its specialist infectious diseases unit. We have been advised that this case is related to recent travel and not community acquired.”
“Close contacts will be given health advice about symptoms and emergency contact details to use if they become unwell in the 14 days after contact with the confirmed case. This tried and tested method will ensure we are able to minimise any risk to them and the wider public. If you have not been contacted by Public Health England, you do not need to take any action at this time.”
Sara Blackmore, director of public health for South Gloucestershire Council, said:
“Public Health England has informed us of a confirmed case of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in South Gloucestershire.
“The individual was isolated in the infectious diseases unit at Southmead Hospital yesterday and respecting patient confidentiality we are only confirming the case now as the individual has been discharged and is self-isolating at home.
“Our thoughts are with the affected individual and we wish them a speedy recovery.
“As you will appreciate, the situation is ever changing and given the national picture we are expecting to give regular updates.
“As director of public health in South Gloucestershire, I wanted to reassure you that we are working closely with Public Health England and our health colleagues and are doing all we can to protect the health and safety of local people and given the national picture we were expecting this and are prepared.
“At an individual level we can make a big impact in helping to delay the spread of the virus by adhering to Public Health England guidance around personal hygiene:
– wash your hands thoroughly and regularly and
– use tissues when you cough or sneeze and dispose of them afterwards.
“Finally, if you have symptoms such as a high temperature, cough or shortness of breath then please use the online or telephone 111 service. DO NOT visit your GP or local hospital.
“For further advice and guidance, refer to the Public Health England or NHS websites.”
If you have recently been to one of the affected areas and are feeling unwell, you should go to NHS 111 online, or phone NHS 111 helpline for further advice straight away – please don’t go to your doctor or a hospital.
There’s lots of advice on how people can protect themselves online at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus
More information: Coronavirus (COVID-19) (South Glos Post)