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Council issues new statement on coronavirus

Council issues new statement on coronavirus

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 1:23pm 10th March 2020. (Updated at 7:40pm 10th March 2020)

By Richard Whitehouse, Local Democracy Reporter

Cornwall Council has explained why it has not provided the exact location of the five people who have tested positive for coronavirus.

It comes after an online petition was launched calling on the council to provide the locations of those who have tested positive, claiming that not doing so was “risking people’s lives”.

To date Cornwall Council, working with Public Health England and the NHS, has been issuing regular updates about confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Cornwall.

But they have only stated the number of cases in the whole of Cornwall and provided no more localised information such as which town or area of Cornwall.

Leader of the council Julian German today told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that this was due to the guidelines set nationally.

He explained: “The information is given out in terms of numbers of cases in local authority areas – as Cornwall is a unitary authority we would only state the number of cases in Cornwall as a whole.”

Cllr German said that other local authorities cover smaller areas so, for example, a city council would be able to say how many cases were in a particular city.

The online petition was launched by Amanda Tame who said she has an underlying health condition which affects her lungs and also has a nine-month-old baby.

On her petition she added:

“You (Public Health Cornwall) (sic) are risking people’s lives by not releasing this information, there are vulnerable people in every community, don’t you think these people have the right to self isolate as a preventative measure, if they so choose?

"Are you waiting for the number of victims to reach a certain amount before you’ll officially say the location? It’s awful and I feel you will have blood on your hands if you do not provide the information to people that may then allow them to protect themselves.

"If people are aware it is in an area surely people will take more precautions thus lessening a local spread? This information needs to be released now so that the affected community/ies can be extra vigilant regarding elderly and vulnerable residents.”

The petition currently has 183 signatures.

Emma Brimble, who has signed it, wrote:

“We have the right to know where these cases are we do not need to know who the people are or there address, we just need to know the town and or village it’s in. The elderly and people with underlying health issues deserve to know so they can be safe.”

Cornwall Council has been asked to respond to the petition.

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