Our response to the Prime Minister’s coronavirus announcement on Monday 16 March

Following Monday evening’s announcement from the Prime Minister, we have been working hard on the County Council’s response.

Our aim will be to minimise the impacts across our services, but inevitably, given the nature of yesterday evening’s announcement, things will change.

Our approach will be comprehensive and correctly calibrated alongside the advice from our own Public Health experts.

To recap, at the heart of the measures announced is the need to delay the spread of the virus. We are now at the point that cases are expected to double every five days.

Essex County Council has long-established and effective arrangements for home or remote working.

These will begin to come into place over the coming days and weeks, guided by our business continuity plans which we know are robust and are being reviewed across services as guidance from the government is updated or becomes available.

Our own focus in Essex has also very much been on vulnerable residents who receive our care and support.

Social distancing for a period of at least 12 weeks will be hard for people, but our aim is to ensure that anyone who needs to socially distance themselves, particularly the elderly, do not find themselves isolated. Communities across Essex are already responding to this and the County Council will support this work.

Information from Essex County Council, Public Health England and the government is being regularly updated. You can also find Essex County Council on Facebook and Twitter for advice or to have your questions answered.

This is the biggest challenge facing our nation since the Second World War and the County Council has a crucial role to play to ensure the safety and wellbeing of Essex’s residents. I have every confidence in our ability to rise to this challenge.