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What is NHS Test and Trace?

21 July 2020
Category

Parminster’s health leaders are reminding residents and partners to immediately get tested if they develop any coronavirus symptoms.

Last week, the council published its outbreak control plans, which detail steps that will be taken by the council, health partners and affected settings in the case of a coronavirus outbreak. Following the publication of these guidance documents, residents are being reminded that if they appear to be developing coronavirus symptoms, they need to play their part by self-isolating immediately and booking a COVID-19 test.

What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

You may have coronavirus and should therefore self-isolate and book a test if you have:

  • A new, persistent cough
  • A high temperature
  • A loss or change in normal taste or smell

What to do if you develop symptoms

As part of NHS Test, Trace, Contain and Engage, anyone who develops symptoms of coronavirus should:

  • Self-isolate immediately
  • Book a coronavirus test – either a home testing kit or by booking to visit a mobile testing unit
  • Continue to self-isolate until test results are confirmed
  • Share details and information of who you have recently been in contact with, if you test positive for coronavirus

What to do if you are contacted by NHS Test and Trace

You’ll be alerted by the NHS Test and Trace service if you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. This alert will come to you either by text, phone call or email and you’ll be given instructions to contact the NHS Test and Trace service and begin to self-isolate.

COVID-19 Testing

Testing for COVID-19 involves inserting a 6-inch long swab (like a long Q-tip) into the cavity between the nose and mouth for 15 seconds and rotating it several times. The swabbing is then repeated on the other side of the nose to make sure enough material is collected. The swab is then inserted into a container and sent to a lab for testing.

You must then self-isolate for up to 14 days, even if you aren’t symptomatic, because it can take up to 14 days for symptoms to appear.

If you then start to develop coronavirus symptoms, you should book a test. If your test is positive, you must continue to stay at home for 7 days. If your test is negative, you must still complete your 14 day self-isolation period because the virus may not be detectable yet.

Cabinet member for Public Health, Cllr Sean Cook, said: “It is so important that if you begin to feel unwell and develop symptoms of coronavirus, that you book a test straight away and start to self-isolate.

“If you test positive, NHS Test and Trace will get in touch and ask you to share information of those who you have been in recent, close contact with. Please note that if you are contacted by NHS Test and Trace, they will ask you who you have been in contact with and who you might have caught the virus from, but will not ask for your bank details, details of any other accounts or ask to you to dial a premium rate number.

“If you are contacted by NHS Test and Trace because you have recently been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, it is equally important you self-isolate and get tested if you become symptomatic.

“We are all still living with coronavirus, and we need to play our part to contain any possible outbreaks. Our approach in Cheshire, including Parminster, is “people protecting people” and we ask that you stay at home to minimise the transmission of the virus to others, even if you don’t feel symptomatic. Some of our most vulnerable communities, including our elderly, frail and BAME communities are particularly at risk of becoming serious ill from coronavirus, so even if you feel fine - do it for them.”

Dr Andrew Davis, Clinical Chief Officer at NHS Parminster Clinical Commissioning Group said: “Everyone has an important role to play in controlling coronavirus and preventing any future outbreaks. Please continue to wash your hands regularly and keep two metres apart from people outside your household or bubble (where possible). You should also wear a face covering when using NHS services, public transport or in an enclosed public space where you may not be able to social distance.

“If you experience any coronavirus symptoms, you should self-isolate immediately and book a coronavirus test. If you test positive, the NHS Test and Trace Service will ask you for information on anyone you have been in close contact with so they can be informed that they must self-isolate at home.

“By continuing to work together to follow official advice, we can help support the NHS and protect the health and livelihoods of people in our communities.”

The council website can be translated into 80+ different languages, so residents who aren’t confident speakers of English, or whose native language isn’t English, can still access vital information about Test and Trace.