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Health blog: NHS Test and Trace

A message from Julie Webster, Wirral’s Director of Public Health.

Dear residents,

I wanted this week’s update to focus on the NHS test and trace service, how it works, what to expect if you get tested or if you are contacted by the service.

So firstly, what is NHS Test and Trace?

The NHS Test and Trace service ensures that anyone who develops symptoms of COVID-19 can quickly be tested to find out if they have the virus. The services helps trace close recent contacts of anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 and, if necessary, notifies them that they must self-isolate at home to help stop the spread of the virus.

How does NHS Test and Trace service work?

  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you must self-isolate for at least 10 days. Anyone else in your household must self-isolate for 14 days from when you started having symptoms.
  • The next step is to book a test via the link below or by calling 119.
  • If your test is positive, you must complete the remainder of your 10-day self-isolation (14 days for the rest of the household). If your test is negative, you and other household members no longer need to self-isolate.
  • Then, this is the important bit, you’ll need to share your contacts. Following a positive test, the NHS Test and Trace service will send you a text or email alert or call you with instructions of how to share details of people with whom you have had close, recent contact and places you have visited as soon as possible.

What happens when the NHS Test and Trace Service contacts me?

The NHS Test and Trace service will contact you because you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.  They will contact you  by either  text, email or phone.  You will be advised to self isolatee for 14 days from your last contact with the person who has tested positive. It’s really important to do this even if you don’t feel unwell because, if you have been infected, you could become infectious to others at any point in that time.

 I also want to reassure residents who may be wary of giving their details over the phone or online as it’s important to be aware of COVID-19 related scams. The NHS Test & Trace service will never:

  • ask you to dial a premium rate number to speak to us (for example, those starting 09 or 087)
  • ask you to make any form of payment or purchase a product or any kind
  • ask for any details about your bank account
  • ask for your social media identities or login details, or those of your contacts
  • ask you for any passwords or PINs, or ask you to set up any passwords or PINs over the phone
  • disclose any of your personal or medical information to your contacts
  • provide medical advice on the treatment of any potential coronavirus symptoms
  • ask you to download any software to your PC or ask you to hand over control of your PC, smartphone or tablet to anyone else
  • ask you to access any website that does not belong to the government or NHS

If you receive a call from somebody claiming to be from the NHS, and they ask you to do any of these things, hang up and report the call to Action Fraud, by calling 0300 123 2040 or by visiting https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/.

For more information or if you or anyone in your household develops symptoms of COVID-19 you must book a test, visit: nhs.uk/coronavirus or call 119.

To Keep Wirral Well, we need to work together as a community to stop the spread of the virus. For information about Wirral’s Outbreak Prevention and Control plan and what organisations and residents can do to support us visit www.wirral.gov.uk/covid19outbreak

Thanks again for reading my updates and please take care.

Julie.