Council welcomes Test and Trace service

Kath Cobain Published Thursday, 28th May 2020

Worcestershire County Council welcomes the next step of controlling Coronavirus; the NHS Test and Trace service, which launches today.

Worcestershire County Council welcomes the next step of controlling Coronavirus; the NHS Test and Trace service, which launches today.

The service, will help identify, contain and control coronavirus, reduce the spread of the virus and save lives.

The County Council will be helping the NHS to run the service across Worcestershire, using local knowledge and expertise, working with Districts, Schools, Communities and Workplaces to rapidly respond to emerging outbreaks.

From today, anyone who tests positive for coronavirus will be contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service to talk them through their next steps. They will also need to share information with the team about their recent interactions.

This could include household members, people with whom they have been in direct contact, or within 2 metres for more than 15 minutes.

Dr Kathryn Cobain, Director of Public Health in Worcestershire, said: “It’s a really positive step forward that the NHS test and trace service has been launched today.

This service will help to build on the great work that has already been done by all, since the pandemic began in terms of helping to stop the spread of the virus.  It is really important that we continue to control coronavirus, whilst restrictions are gradually being lifted, and national lockdown is being eased. This service is a huge part of how we continue the significant progress that has been made so far. 

The success of the Council’s Here 2 Help scheme as it continues to help those who need it here in Worcestershire, has shown what can be achieved when we all come together. It has showcased our commitment to do all we can to help during the pandemic and control the virus, and running the test and trace service is the next step forward.” 

Professor John Newton, National Coordinator of Test and Trace, said: “At this critical point in the nation’s response to coronavirus we are launching a service that will enable us to emerge more safely from lockdown. To control the virus we still need to continue with social distancing and good hygiene, but we also now have a comprehensive test and trace service to stop new cases spreading. This approach will allow us to gradually return to more normal personal, social and economic lives while recognising that we have to stay alert and respond rapidly to any advice from the new service.

The NHS Test and Trace service will use dedicated contact tracing staff, online services and local public health experts to identify any close recent contacts they’ve had and alert those most at risk of having the virus who need to self-isolate.

People identified as having been in close contact with someone who has a positive test must stay at home for 14 days, even if they do not have symptoms, to stop unknowingly spreading the virus.

If those in isolation develop symptoms, they can book a test at nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119.

If they test positive, they must continue to stay at home for 7 days or until their symptoms have passed. If they test negative, they must complete the 14-day isolation period.

Members of their household will not have to stay at home unless the person identified becomes symptomatic, at which point they must also self-isolate for 14 days to avoid unknowingly spreading the virus.

For more information on the service, please visit the coronavirus page on the Council website.

If you have been asked to self-isolate by the team, and would like some support, please visit here2help on the Council website.