PLANS to prevent future coronavirus outbreaks have been revealed by a council.

Brighton and Hove City Council has published its Local Outbreak Plan to combat the virus in the city.

It details measures taken by the authority and health chiefs to prevent epidemics or eradicate them.

Officials and University of Sussex experts are developing “early warning indicators” to identify potential outbreaks.

Laboratories in the city are able to process 2,000 swab and blood tests a day. This can increase to 3,000 swab tests a day if pathology labs are staffed 24/7.

An increased number of mobile testing units operated by the Army can be requested and rapidly deployed to areas where outbreaks occur.

But the plan notes testing provided by hospitals and ambulance services in the city will have to increase if government-led testing programmes like those at the Amex stadium and Gatwick Airport are rolled back or stopped.

The Argus: The city council noted it will need to step up local testing if national testing efforts are rolled backThe city council noted it will need to step up local testing if national testing efforts are rolled back

The city council has also drawn up a list of potential “high-risk” environments it will monitor for potential outbreaks.

These include:

  • Universities
  • Language schools
  • Cafes, and restaurants
  • Public transport
  • Shops
  • Warehouses
  • Pubs, clubs, bars, and hotels
  • Construction sites
  • Venues
  • Barbers
  • Gyms

The plan also lists a number of potentially “high-risk” events including outdoor social gatherings, protests, parades, and large events.

It notes people in minority ethnic groups, areas of deprivation, and urban areas are at a higher risk from coronavirus.

Men, pensioners, and people living in large or multi-generational households are also considered to be at an increased risk from the virus.

The plan also sets out how the city council plans to avoid future outbreaks in care homes.

Care homes will only be able to accept additional residents if they are “adequately staffed”.

The Argus: Care homes will have to fulfil a number of criteria before they can accept new residentsCare homes will have to fulfil a number of criteria before they can accept new residents

Homes using agency staff will only be able to accept residents if agency staff are allocated to one home only or “enhanced risk assessments” are in place.

Homes must also have “sufficient and correct” protective equipment, “regular and reliable” testing which gives a result within three days, and “strong outbreak management”.

But even if this is all in place, residents transferred to care homes will still have to self-isolate in a single bedroom for two weeks.

City council health chief Councillor Clare Moonan said the city is well-prepared to deal with any outbreaks which occur.

“We must learn to live alongside Covid-19 and we must all take personal responsibility for reducing the spread of Covid-19,” she said.

“Sadly the risk of further outbreaks is still incredibly real, as we’re currently seeing in other places in the UK and in other countries. It’s crucial we all do whatever’s needed to protect our most vulnerable people. “

The local outbreak plan is available to view at

• The coronavirus Sussex Crisis Fund has been set up to help those affected by the pandemic. The Argus’s charity and American Express have each donated £50,000 to kick-start the appeal. Grants will usually be for up to £5,000. More information is available at www.sussexgiving. To donate visit ​