Authorities in Staffordshire have declared a major incident across the county over concerns about the impact of Covid-19.
A recent surge of Omicron cases has seen the Staffordshire Resilience Forum – made up of agencies such as councils, fire, police and health services – take the step.
It is the third time during the coronavirus pandemic that a major incident has been declared across the county.
Dr Richard Harling, director for health and care at Staffordshire County Council, said it was “a sensible step” which would allow organisations to increase coordination and share resources.
“Everyone is now aware that the rapid spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 and the pressure this is causing on our services, particularly with key workers needing to isolate.
“Declaring a major incident once more is a sensible step. All public sector agencies and our partners are already working together in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent to anticipate and deal with challenges.
“Declaring a major incident will make sure that we are able to share resources where necessary which will be important as we expect that more staff may need to self-isolate.
“Working together is something that we do all the time and the action we are now taking is simply aimed at making that process even more joined-up.”Dr Richard Harling, Staffordshire County Council
It comes as the latest figures revealed that the coronavirus case rate in Staffordshire had risen to a record 1,700 people in every 100,000.
Dr Harling said it was important people took whatever steps they could to keep themselves and others safe.
“It is important that people continue their efforts to limit the spread and impact of the virus – get vaccinated including a booster dose, work from home if you can, avoid crowded indoor public spaces, wear face coverings where required and use health and care services responsibly.”Dr Richard Harling, Staffordshire County Council