Coronavirus among 'family cluster' sees two cases confirmed in West Sussex

The first patient to contract Covid-19 within the UK is part of a 'family cluster' of patients and was a patient at Haslemere Health Centre, in Surrey.The first patient to contract Covid-19 within the UK is part of a 'family cluster' of patients and was a patient at Haslemere Health Centre, in Surrey.
The first patient to contract Covid-19 within the UK is part of a 'family cluster' of patients and was a patient at Haslemere Health Centre, in Surrey. | Other 3rd Party
Two people in West Sussex have tested positive for Covid-19, according to West Sussex County Council.

The two patients, and a man from Surrey who also tested positive for the virus, are part of a ‘family cluster’ that have close contacts with another Surrey resident who is the first person to catch the disease within the UK.

The male resident had not been abroad recently and was a patient at Haslemere Health Centre, in Surrey, which has been closed for ‘deep cleaning’ since Friday morning.

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Health care teams are already ‘making good progress’ in contacting anyone believed to have been in close contact with the four individuals, according to a joint statement by senior health officials at both West Sussex and Surrey councils.

Following the confirmation of the cases, 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 which 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.

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‘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.’

A senior doctor within Public Health England said the organisation was ‘aware’ of individuals that had recently come into contact with the patients.

Dr James Mapstone, Acting Regional Director for the South of England for Public Health England, added: ‘PHE 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. 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.’