Scotland is gradually coming out of a prolonged and restrictive lock-down period in a measured, evidence-led fashion. We are now moving beyond lockdown, following the national route-map for moving out of lockdown. There is a need to balance action which encourages progress towards recovery, renewal, and the remobilisation of Scotland’s systems, while simultaneously retaining the capacity to respond rapidly and flexibly in the ongoing management of COVID-19 infections and outbreaks.
This document – which we have described as a “workbook” – brings into one place advice on how local and national public health agencies will provide support that helps to put in place the action needed to prevent virus spread, together with advice on outbreak management.
We already have tried and tested approaches to managing outbreaks of any infection in Scotland. This workbook will hopefully help to encourage a more widely shared understanding of these procedures and help to explain everyone’s responsibilities, what will be expected of them, and who will be making which decisions in relation to infection prevention and outbreak control. This workbook therefore seeks to aid management of the situation by:
- clarifying roles and responsibilities for:
- service restart & recovery activity whilst preventing the spread of COVID-19; and
- actions needed to facilitate the management of incidents and outbreak;
- supporting the co-ordination and planning of actions being taken as outlined in the route map out of lockdown; and
- furthering shared learning during recovery.
Section 1 describes the way in which COVID-19 outbreaks will be managed in Scotland.
Section 2 provides a template for the creation of ‘Sector Advice Cards’ (SACs) that brings into one place advice on how organisations and businesses across Scotland can take action to:
- prevent the spread of the virus and avoid outbreaks; and
- play their role in reporting on and helping to manage outbreaks.
Building this prevention and management approach at the required pace, will require that we:
a. work from the tried and tested foundations of what is already there, but being open to innovation; taking the opportunity to refresh, bolster, challenge and test the approach;
b. are mindful of the need to create an approach which is specific to COVID-19, but which allows for other tasks and challenges to be addressed; and
c. ensure that it is a meaningful tool to guide the necessary work for Scotland, not simply provide an additional layer of system assurance.