8 March 2020

New confirmed COVID-19 cases in Brighton & Hove

The information in this news story was correct at the time of publishing. Find the latest updates on Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Specialists from Public Health England (PHE) are working with Brighton & Hove City Council and NHS colleagues following confirmation of new cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the city. 

Expected rise

As of 9am on 9 March 2020, 24,960 people have been tested in the UK, of which 24,641 were confirmed negative and 319 were confirmed as positive. Three patients who tested positive for COVID-19 have died.

A total of eight people have tested positive for Covid-19 in Brighton & Hove. All are adults.

Five of the local cases have now recovered. 

Confirmed cases

In summary, the confirmed cases in the city are as follows. 

  • Brighton & Hove cases 1 to 5: Connected to one source diagnosed in early February. All transmissions of the virus happened abroad
  • Case 6: We have no details of this case, we’re waiting for more information from PHE. We cannot confirm whether this is connected to the city or not 
  • Case 7: The University of Sussex has confirmed this case is a student. Contact tracing is underway
  • Case 8: A separate new case has been announced today at 2pm. Contact tracing is underway  

When more cases are confirmed in the UK, it will be announced as soon as possible by the Chief Medical Officer. 

Given the rise in numbers across the UK, it is likely we will see more announced in the city. The experience and actions taken during the initial five cases has put Brighton & Hove in a good position to respond to the situation. 

Encouraging everyone to maintain basic hygiene continues to be the best way to prevent spread of the virus. Advice from PHE on handwashing is below. 

Advice from Public Health England

Dr Alison Barnett, centre director for Public Health England South East said: “Public Health England has contacted people who have had close contact with patient confirmed has having COVID-19. The patient had recently travelled to Italy.

"Close contacts have been given health advice about symptoms and emergency contact details to use if they become unwell in the 14 days after contact with the confirmed case.

"This tried and tested method will ensure we are able to minimise any risk to them and the wider public.”

Prevention

Brighton & Hove City Council’s Director of Public Health, Alistair Hill said: “We’re working with health colleagues to do everything we can to prevent the virus spreading.
 
“If you haven’t been contacted by Public Health England as a close contact of the new confirmed case you don’t need to take any action at this time.”

Current evidence indicates that most cases appear to be mild, with patients experiencing flu-like symptoms. Older residents or those with weakened immune systems or long-term conditions may experience more severe symptoms. 

Advice

The city’s Director of Public Health Alistair Hill is asking everyone to continue to follow national Government guidance to prevent further spread of the illness and limit the numbers affected.
 
He said: “These are the same simple steps we all should be taking to avoid other illnesses such as flu which is also prevalent during the winter and it’s important that residents help protect themselves and others.
 
“Sneeze or cough into a tissue, bin it, wash your hands frequently and don’t touch your face unless you’ve just washed your hands.
 
“If you’ve recently travelled to an affected area or been in contact with someone who has, and you think you have symptoms associated with the coronavirus, you should not go to A&E or your doctor but self-isolate yourself at home and ring NHS 111 which has an online coronavirus service that can tell if you need medical help and advise you what to do.”

Symptoms and self isolation

The symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are:

  • a cough
  • a high temperature
  • shortness of breath

Self-isolation means you should:

  • stay at home
  • not go to work, school or public places
  • not use public transport or taxis
  • ask friends, family members or delivery services to do errands for you try to avoid visitors to your home – it's OK for friends, family or delivery drivers to drop off food

You may need to do this for up to 14 days to help reduce the possible spread of infection.

More information 

For more information on the symptoms and steps to take, go to www.nhs.uk/coronavirus
 
For the latest advice on travellers returning from affected areas, plus guidance to schools and care homes, visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus
 Details on testing are published daily at 2pm and includes a breakdown of negative and positive cases