The Civil Contingencies Authority (CCA), which includes senior Alderney States Member Bill Abel, met to be further briefed on plans to support the Alderney community.
This follows an announcement that three positive cases of COVID-19 had been identified in Alderney. These were thought to be ‘community seeding’ cases and a programme of contact tracing and testing and ‘surge testing’ was immediately put in place in Alderney. Residents were also advised to adopt a number of Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs) to minimise any risk of further infections.
Contact tracing continues in Alderney and four nurses have been deployed to Alderney from Guernsey to support with the surge testing. The CCA was prepared for cases of community seeding as we begin to live responsibly with COVID-19.
In the meantime, Alderney residents are asked to refrain from calling the hospital or the Island Medical Centre for general information to allow staff to focus on those who need medical care.
Deputy Peter Ferbrache, Chair of the CCA, said this afternoon: “From a Guernsey perspective we are doing everything we can to support Alderney and contain the identified cases and any spread. This includes both complete Public Health resources and all other relevant States of Guernsey services. The measures advised will be proportionate and in line with our strategy of living responsibly with COVID-19.”
As a precautionary measure, restrictions on visitations have been put in place at the Mignot Memorial Hospital and Alderney care homes:
Mignot Memorial Hospital – routine visiting is temporarily suspended as the evolving situation is assessed, but measures have been put in place to support visits
Until contact tracing establishes and contains the COVID-19 cases, Islanders are asked to follow these NPIs:
- Stay at home if you feel unwell and seek testing
- Face coverings recommended – particularly indoors in public areas
- Regular handwashing or use of hand sanitiser
- Good respiratory etiquette – catch it, bin it, kill it
- Ensure indoor spaces are well ventilated – open doors and windows. Preferably meet outside.
- Social distancing is recommended where possible
- Organisers of public events are advised to keep a list of attendees
In addition, islanders are strongly recommended to stay at home if they have symptoms, even if they are mild and feel like they just have a slight cold. They should also seek testing immediately by calling the Clinical Helplines 01481 756938 or 01481 756969. Alternatively, the Island Medical Centre on 01481 822077, but please be aware that the staff will be very busy.
Dr Nicola Brink, Director of Public Health, said: “We have always said that we would see clusters or outbreaks of cases as we learn to live with COVID-19. We have also said that intermittent use of NPIs might be required from time to time.
“Alderney residents, and those travelling to Alderney, are advised to adopt NPIs whilst we work with Alderney colleagues to carry out further testing and contact tracing.”
Further advice and information is available at covid19.gov.gg.