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Protecting our communities: Pulling together to achieve sustainable suppression of SARS-CoV-2 and limit adverse impacts

Covid-19 · Health protection | October 11, 2020

Directors of Public Health are being asked to provide advice which balances the need for interventions to protect our communities from SARS-CoV-2 whilst minimising adverse impacts on the economy, social life, inequalities, and overall health and wellbeing. Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs) remain a core part of the set of tools available to reduce the spread of the virus.

The purpose of this document is to support Directors of Public Health, local authorities, and partners in considering the range of NPIs that might be most appropriate. In producing it, we have identified strategies and measures that local areas can use to suppress the virus. There is no ‘zero risk’ scenario and, as such, local areas have tough decisions to make. This document sets out a menu of choices which have shown promise, whether in local places, nationally or internationally, in slowing the spread; as well as choices which have been pursued in previous outbreaks of communicable disease. The document starts from a position of clear and transparent principles. Where evidence is provisional, developing, or silent we have set out a rationale. We have also sought to learn from what we already know.

This is the first iteration of this document. Given the pace at which the epidemic is moving we explicitly acknowledge that it is a time of much change and learning. Consequently, we recognise the importance of maintaining it as a live document. This means that we will regularly review, and update, it to reflect our growing understanding and the evolving evidence. We would encourage Directors of Public Health, their teams and colleagues in local government and the wider public health system, to share their feedback and insight as this work develops by emailing the ADPH Policy Team.

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