Council and PHE issue statement on confirmed COVID-19 case

Specialists from Public Health England (PHE) are working with the Isle of Wight Council and NHS colleagues following a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19) on the Island.

The individual is now being treated appropriately and in isolation.

Alison Barnett, Centre Director for Public Health England South East, said: “Public Health England is contacting people who had close contact with a person who is a resident of the Isle of Wight and had recently returned from overseas travel.

“Those identified will be given health advice about symptoms and emergency contact details to use if they become unwell in the 14-day intervening period.

“If you have not been contacted by Public Health England as a close contact of the confirmed case, you do not need to take any action at this time.

“This tried and tested method will ensure we are able to minimise any risks to those contacted and the wider public.”

The Isle of Wight Council’s Director of Public Health, Simon Bryant, said: “We are working with health colleagues to do everything we can to stop the virus spreading and ensure that people on the Island are protected as much as possible.”

Current evidence indicates that most cases appear to be mild, with patients experiencing flu-like symptoms.

Older residents or those with weakened immune systems or long-term conditions may experience more severe symptoms.

Health and local authorities are strongly encouraging people to follow national government guidance to prevent further spread of the illness and limit the numbers affected.

This guidance includes taking basic hygiene precautions as the best way of significantly reducing the chances of spreading any virus: sneeze or cough into a tissue, bin it, wash your hands frequently and don’t touch your face unless you’ve just washed your hands.

Mr Bryant added: “These are the same simple steps we all should be taking to avoid other illnesses – such as flu – which are also around during the winter.

“It is important that residents help protect themselves and others.

“If you have recently travelled to an affected area or been in contact with someone who has, and you think you have symptoms associated with the coronavirus, you should not go to A&E or your doctor but self-isolate yourself at home and use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service that can tell if you need medical help and advise you what to do, or ring NHS 111.”