Public and emergency services in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent have declared a major incident due to the impact of coronavirus on the area.
The Staffordshire Resilience Forum (SRF) is made up of multiple agencies such as the NHS, Fire and Rescue Service, Police, Local Authorities and others who work together to plan and prepare for localised incidents and civil emergencies.
It's the third time since the start of the pandemic that a major incident has been declared by the SRF.
Declaring a major incident allows for enhanced multi-agency activity and co-ordination.
Dr Richard Harling, the Director for Health and Care at Staffordshire County Council is chairing the Strategic Coordinating Group, which is overseeing the response.
He said: “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.”
“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.”