Update on the council’s Covid outbreak control communication plan

Primary interest
Voluntary sector

Local authorities and public health teams are responsible for developing local Covid outbreak control plans – that means plans to prevent local outbreaks, and in the event that one happens, to manage the local response and any potential lockdown. RBC have published a summary of their plan and you can read it here www.reading.gov.uk/c19outbreakplan.

Read more about what the council are doing and how you can help below. Apply for the Communications, Engagement and Outreach Officer vacancy here.

Message from David Munday, Consultant in Public Health, RBC Public Health and Wellbeing Team

A priority for us right now is to find and work with the most at risk and seldom heard groups who face barriers to understanding or accessing health messages, testing or treatment for reasons that could include finances, working status, family situation and caring responsibilities, cultural or religious norms, language, literacy, past experiences or another reason.

Learning from others

We are working with other councils who are doing innovative community outreach work for Covid outbreak prevention.

Comms and translation

We have produced a graphic that gives the overview of the basics – symptoms, test and trace etc. This uses more pictures and fewer words, and will now be translated into 7 community languages – Polish, Hindi, Bengali, Nepalese, Urdu, Punjabi and Swahili.

Community outreach

We are recruiting for a dedicated officer to focus on understanding barriers and needs for at risk/hard to reach groups, and developing initiatives to address these. This role will work closely with the public health, wellbeing and communication teams at the Council, and with partners and community leaders.

High risk settings

We have established a dedicated High Risk Settings Team within Regulatory Services that will focus on making on site visits to local businesses, specifically those considered high risk. Factors that would make the location high risk include having groups of people working in an enclosed space, having people living and working on site, businesses where the workforce have low levels of literacy or proficiency in English and may be unaware of the guidelines or lack the power to insist they are enforced.The team will both inspect the premises and provide support to the businesses, for example carrying with them tablets that have the latest guidance relevant to each sector, including video resources and translations. This team is due to start work in the field on 11 August 2020.

Can you help?
  • Our focus for community languages is Polish, Hindi, Bengali, Nepalese, Urdu, Punjabi and Swahili.  This is based on insight from community groups who work with the public health team and from partners such as the Royal Berks. Are there other significant languages that you think we should focus on?
  • We welcome your help getting the translated information out to communities and if you have suggestions where we might distribute it – whether physical leaflets or digital versions – then please let us know.
  • The High Risk Settings Team have lists of premises that they are ready to visit based on known or perceived risk. There will be many businesses we know little about and therefore if you are aware of any that you may think may be high risk, please email highrisksettings.cv19@reading.gov.uk and the team will follow up.
  • The advert for the new post is live we would appreciate your help to promote the role.

If you have any insight or input into these areas please contact cv19notifications@reading.gov.uk and we will take your feedback on board, or discuss it with you in more detail if you would like.