Two cases of coronavirus confirmed in West Sussex

Two people in West Sussex have tested positive for COVID-19, the county council has confirmed this evening (Sunday, March 1).

Sunday, 1st March 2020, 5:51 pm
Updated Sunday, 1st March 2020, 7:50 pm

Another man in Surrey also tested positive for the virus and, in a joint statement on the latest coronavirus cases, Surrey and West Sussex county councils said ‘all cases are adults and are not health workers’.

The three patients were confirmed as close contacts of a man from Surrey, who was the first to have tested positive for coronavirus within the UK.

A spokesperson said: “This afternoon the Chief Medical Officer for England announced three further patients who were ‘close contacts of a known case’, had tested positive for COVID-19.

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“These relate to a man who tested positive in Surrey on Friday 28 February so brings the total number of confirmed cases in Surrey to two.

“We can also confirm the other two cases in this family cluster have been confirmed in West Sussex.”

Ruth Hutchinson, interim director of public health for Surrey County Council, and Anna Raleigh, director of public health for West Sussex County Council, issued a joint statement following the Chief Medical Officer’s update.

They said: “We are working closely together and with Public Health England and the NHS to make sure everything possible is being done to protect people in our respective counties and minimise the spread of the virus.

“We’re receiving regular updates from colleagues at Public Health England who are already making good progress in contacting anyone who has been in close contact with the individuals to provide them with advice about what to do if they start to feel unwell, and how to manage if they are told to self-isolate.

“This work is a key way of minimising any risk to them and the wider public and while this is a fast-moving situation we would like to reassure everyone that our county councils and health colleagues are well-prepared and doing all we can to minimise the chances of further cases.

“Anyone who is not contacted directly by PHE should continue to go about their life as normal but take extra care to follow public health advice on simple steps we can all take to help reduce the risk of infection.”

Dr James Mapstone, acting regional director (South of England) for Public Health England, said it is providing ‘specialist advice’ to local authority partners around two confirmed cases in Surrey and two in West Sussex.

“The four cases are part of an adult family cluster,” he said. “We are aware of the people they have been in contact with and we are making contact with those people to issue appropriate advice and steps to take if they start to feel unwell.”