Reporting of confirmed cases of coronavirus
Following the announcement on 21 March of a death linked to coronavirus in the borough, some people have asked for clarity around the public reporting of cases and why some media showed that no cases were recorded in the borough.
Community testing for coronavirus was stopped nationally on 12 March at the request of NHS England. Shropshire Community Health Trust were carrying this out in the borough until this instruction from NHS England.
Prior to this, Public Health England reported all positive coronavirus cases to each council’s Director of Public Health as soon as these were confirmed. While this system was in place, no positive tests for Telford and Wrekin were reported to the Council.
Since testing in the community was stopped, coronavirus testing has increased in hospitals, for example at Shrewsbury & Telford Hospitals NHS Trust.
We now no longer receive details of positive test results from Public Health England, due to the significant increase in positive tests which are now reported nationally. This is why the health service is not reporting on confirmed cases in the borough.
This can mean that, as happened sadly here over the last weekend, the first time a council is made aware of a positive test result is when a person has died. People also need to understand that the release of information surrounding a death from any cause, can be delayed to allow time to inform next of kin. Due to patient confidentiality, we also cannot release further details other than what is made public by our hospital trust.
Whether a case is recorded locally or not, we feel it is certain that, given the numbers of cases nationally, there will be cases in the borough also.
That is why it is key we all follow the Government’s advice on self-isolation if you or anyone in your household has symptoms, social distancing and for those most at risk, to stay at home and self-isolate.
This is to help protect yourself, others and the NHS.
Full details of this are here https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/