You will be acutely aware of the current situation regarding Coronavirus and the national and local efforts to contain it.

We can all help by making sure we stay abreast of the latest health advice and guidance from Public Health England and sharing this with our local residents.

Up to date information can always be found via the County Council’s website www.devon.gov.uk. You can also follow Public Health England’s Facebook page or Twitter feed for the latest updates, information and advice.

Unfortunately, yesterday it was confirmed by the Chief Medical Officer that Devon has its first suspected cases of a local resident having contracting Coronavirus (COVID -19) following a trip to Northern Italy.

We understand from Public Health England (PHE) that all close contacts of those infected will be traced and given health advice about symptoms and emergency contact details to use if they become unwell in the 14 days after contact.

PHE also advise that if anyone has recently been to one of the affected areas and is feeling unwell, they should phone the NHS 111 helpline for further advice straight away rather than go to the doctor or a hospital.

Detailed guidance from PHE and the NHS includes Frequently Asked Questions.

More generally, we can also help by reminding everyone that good hygiene is the best prevention and there are some simple steps everyone can take to protect themselves and their family. These include washing hands regularly and thoroughly and covering mouths and noses with a tissue when coughing and disposing of the tissue bin.