Outbreak response planning on the Isles of Scilly: Local Incident Response Team (LIRT)

Whitney Curry, Advanced Public Health Practitioner, is part of the public health team with responsibility for the Isles of Scilly. She has provided a handy introduction to a key component of the Council’s response to the coronavirus pandemic: the Local Incident Response Team (LIRT).

What does the LIRT do?

We respond to any possible case of COVID-19 on the Isles of Scilly. This includes ensuring anyone who needs a test can get tested and providing support to those who need to self-isolate (eg by helping them to access supplies). We also work with Public Health England to ensure there is a robust outbreak response if needed.

Will the LIRT contact me?

We will only contact you for the following reasons:

  • You asked us to
  • You requested a test
  • To let you know of your test results
  • To support you with food and supplies if you are self-isolating
  • If you are a visitor to the islands, to discuss getting you home safely if you test positive or have informed us you are a Test & Trace contact
  • If you are a business owner, to discuss any possible outbreaks in your business and support you.

How can I arrange a test?

Anyone symptomatic can ask for a test. Simply phone the Isles of Scilly Testing Helpline 01626 204950 (Monday to Sunday, 8am- 5pm) or email d-ccg.devoncovid19testing@nhs.net to arrange one and self-isolate in your home or holiday accommodation.

How do I know if I have been in contact with a positive case?

The Test and Trace service or Public Health England will get in touch with you if you have been in close contact with a positive case and therefore need to self-isolate for 14 days. They will tell you exactly what to do

If you are worried or want support with self-isolating, or you are unsure whether you need to self-isolate, you can contact the LIRT via keepscillysafe@scilly.gov.uk – we’re here to help. 

What is an outbreak?

The LIRT and Public Health England have agreed that the Isles of Scilly is a priority setting and therefore a single case (i.e. 1 positive test) for COVID-19 will be classified as an outbreak. This is important because it means that any case on the islands will trigger full Public Health England support.

An outbreak does not necessarily mean the islands will be locked down. Any lockdown decisions would be made based on a risk assessment and in discussion with the local authority, Public Health England and the Department of Health and Social Care.

How can I find out more?

The Council has collated further advice, resources and FAQs, which are regularly updated, on the following page: https://scilly.gov.uk/news/coronavirus-covid-19-what-you-need-know

Publishing date: 
Friday, 24 July, 2020