The NHS Test and Trace programme has been launched by the Government to track every single case of coronavirus in our communities to reduce the rate of infection and save lives.
The more people that use Test and Trace correctly, the more effective it will be at stopping the spread of the virus, the safer it will be for you and your loves ones and the quicker the lockdown measures can be lifted.
From now on, you are being asked to follow this three-step plan:
Step 1 - If you have one or more of the symptoms of coronavirus - a fever, a new continuous cough or a loss of taste or smell – you and the people you live with must immediately self-isolate. You and members of your household must isolate for 10 days.
Step 2 - You then must book a test on the NHS website and if you don’t have internet access dial 119. Do not leave home for any other reason. If you test positive, you will then be contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service within 24 hours. If you test negative, you no longer need to isolate as long as:
- everyone you live with who has symptoms tests negative
- everyone in your support bubble who has symptoms tests negative
- you were not told to self-isolate for 10 days by NHS Test and Trace – if you were, see what to do if you've been told you've been in contact with someone who has coronavirus
- you feel well – if you feel unwell, stay at home until you’re feeling better
If you have diarrhoea or you’re being sick, stay at home until 48 hours after they've stopped.
Step 3 - If you do test positive, NHS Test and Trace will help you establish who you have been in contact with and might have infected. This could be members of your own household already isolating or someone you have had close contact, e.g. have been within two metres of for longer than 15 minutes.
You will also be given clinical advice and support for dealing with the virus. NHS Test and Trace will then contact those contacts anonymously. If you are one of those contacts, you will be advised to isolate for 10 days, even if you don’t have symptoms or feel perfectly well. If you develop symptoms, you will be required to get a test. Even if negative you will still have to self-isolate for 10 days. Your household doesn’t need to self-isolate with you, if you do not have symptoms, but they must take extra care to follow the guidance on social distancing and handwashing both inside and outside the home.
If you need to self-isolate and have no support from friends, family or neighbours, there is a network of services provided through local hubs that support and help those, if required, who are self-isolating. People who need help whilst isolating can get help online by calling 0345 045 5219.
We also need you to continue to follow the clear public health advice to reduce the spread of the virus.
Local contact tracing scheme
Councils across Cambridgeshire are running a countywide contact tracing service, working closely with NHS Test and Trace to contact people who have tested positive for Covid-19, giving them help, advice and support to self-isolate.
The countywide scheme launched on 19 November 2020 and is an expansion of the Peterborough contact tracing service which was set-up in August and proved valuable in keeping rates of the virus reduced.
Officers from each of the councils who have undergone special training in contact tracing, will be following up on people who have tested positive for Covid-19 but have not responded to a call or email from the national service, and will ask them for details of their close contacts.
The quicker we can reach people who’ve tested positive and get them to isolate - and get them to share details of who they’ve been in contact with - the quicker we can break the chain of infection.
A step-by-step guide to how the system works:
- If the national NHS Test and Trace service is unable to make contact with anyone who tests positive with a Cambridgeshire or Peterborough postcode after 24 hours, they will refer the details into our new, local Cambridgeshire and Peterborough contact tracing team.
- The local team will receive this information daily, seven days a week.
- The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough team will contact people, initially by phone or text or email, and this will show up as a local number or come from an official council email address. The person will be asked to contact a local number.
- If we can’t contact the person through phone/SMS/email after another 24 hours we will send a council officer to their address to speak to them personally.
- We will provide advice, get details of their ‘contacts’ and then update the national system with this information.
- The national process and service will then take over and contact the close contacts of the people we’ve been in contact with. The loop currently ends there for us in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
- When we make contact we will also see if people need any support or help through the network of district and city support hubs – this could be financial support if people are unable to work, support to shop for food, get medication or undertake essential household chores etc.
Anyone who is concerned about being contacted can call the council or local community hub to check the identity of the tracer on 0345 045 5219.
Isolation Support Service
Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council began offering a service to local residents on 18 January 2021 to help support those who have either had a positive test for Covid-19, or have been in close contact with someone who has had a positive test for Covid-19. The quicker we can reach people who are at risk of spreading the virus to support them to isolate, the quicker we can break the chain of infection.
Aims of the Service
- To support residents to remain in self-isolation, via the provision of phone contacts during the 10-day isolation period
- To limit the spread of coronavirus
- To focus on removing barriers and persuading asymptomatic individuals to remain away from others
- To reinforce the importance and legal requirements of self-isolation
A step-by-step guide to how the service works
- The NHS Test and Trace service will share data with us daily on who has been identified as needing to isolate
- The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough team will contact you, initially by phone, and this will show up as a local number
- If we cannot contact you by phone, we will either you an e-mail, text message or letter to ask you to contact us
- When we do make contact, we will ask you if you’re self-isolating and we will also see if you need any support or help through the network of district and city support hubs. This could be financial support if you are unable to work, support to shop for food, get medication or undertake essential household chores etc. We may agree with you another call during their isolation period to check if you need any further support.
If you’re concerned about being contacted, you can call the council or Covid-19 enquiry line to check the identity of the advisor on 0345 045 5219.
Self isolation payment
The government recently announced the Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme aimed at helping make up for any lost income people face due to having to stay at home and self-isolate.
You may be entitled to a one-off payment of £500 through the scheme.
Please contact your district or city council to find out more.
Local Outbreak Control Plan
This document describes the Outbreak Control Plan that Cambridgeshire and Peterborough are adopting to help control and contain Coronavirus.
Updated: 14 December 2020