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Covid-19 medical advice (FOI)

Covid-19 medical advice (FOI)

Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 17 July 2020.
Prepared internally, no external costs.


I wish to know the following information regarding the scientific and medical advice given regarding the Coronavirus outbreak:


Do the Government of Jersey (GOJ) and the Health and Community Services Department (HCS) have any information regarding the form of the scientific and medical advice given to them at the beginning and during the course of the Coronavirus outbreak?


If so, what form did this take, and what are the contents of the scientific and medical advice?



Scientific and medical advice has taken the following forms since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • a meeting was held on 2 February 2020 to monitor the spread of COVID-19 globally

  • at the beginning of the crisis, Dr Ivan Muscat, as Consultant in Communicable Disease Control (CCDC) and Acting Medical Officer for Health attended operational crisis response forums with emergencies services and within Health and Community Services, and attended formal governance forums such as Emergencies Council, Council of Ministers, and Competent Authorities Ministerial meetings, providing verbal advice. This advice was informed by professional insight and evidence reviews from both the public health policy team, and the infection control team and enabled Dr Muscat to formulate advice to Government and Ministers based on the evidence that was available at the time. The pace of change in both COVID activity internationally and in Jersey together with the required rate of response precluded the formation of a formal public health Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) in the early phases

  • a Health and Community Services operational Scientific Advice Committee focussed on safe operation of health environments operated via Bronze and Silver command and the Associate Medical Directors Meetings

  • the formal public health STAC chaired by Mr Patrick Armstrong met on 28 April 2020 and verbal and / or written advice provided at least weekly to Ministers and key officials. The terms of reference for the STAC can be found in the COVID-19 Strategy, published on 3 June 2020 at the following link:

 Covid-19 Strategy June 2020

  • both the Medical Officer for Health, Dr Susan Turnbull (on her return from a period of absence) and Dr Muscat, have continued to attend formal governance forums and, as well as other members of STAC, advised Ministers on public health


The scientific and medical advice focusses on understanding and mitigating both the direct public health risks of COVID-19 and the indirect and wider harms of the pandemic and public health measures taken. This includes:

  • statistical modelling and monitoring of evidence and Covid-19 related data

  • evidence and proposals to support and assess the "Suppress, Contain (test, trace, isolate) and Shield" goals in the COVID-19 strategy

  • advice on COVID-19 related legislation

Minutes and written advice of the public health STAC will be published on shortly.

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