Residents across Cambridgeshire urged to support test and trace scheme to tackle coronavirus
- Credit: Archant
Residents across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough are being urged to support a new test and trace programme that aims to stop the coronavirus from spreading.
The NHS programme, discussed by Health Secretary Matt Hancock at yesterday’s (Wednesday) daily briefing, aims to track every case of COVID-19 in each community.
It will also aim to encourage those who have been in contact with anyone who may have the virus to isolate.
‘Test and trace’ will also look to replace the national lockdown with individual isolation for those who have been in contact with the virus, as well as local action to respond to another spike in coronavirus cases.
Mr Hancock also gave details on the three-step plan that the public should follow:
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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.
Step 2 – You then must book a test on the NHS website and if you don’t have internet access dial 119.
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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.
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 been within two metres of for more than 15 minutes.
You will 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 14 days, even if you don’t have symptoms or feel perfectly well. If you developed symptoms, you would be required to get a test.
Councillor John Holdich, leader of Peterborough City Council, said: “It is all our duty to follow the instructions set out by the Government – to self-isolate immediately if you get symptoms and to get a test. If you are contacted by NHS Test and Trace, instructing you to isolate, you must do so.
“We know it might be difficult for people to self-isolate, particularly if they don’t have 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.”
Councillor Steve Count, leader of Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “The Government has made it very clear that if you get symptoms you must isolate immediately and get a test. If you are contacted by NHS Test and Trace, instructing you to isolate, you must do so.
“If the lockdown measures are to be lifted further, we all need to follow these instructions to slow the spread of the virus, keep ourselves and our loved ones safe, protecting the NHS and all key workers.
“The more people who correctly use Test and Trace, the greater impact it will have on the spread of the virus and the quicker we will be able to return to seeing the people we love and doing the things we all enjoy.”
A network of COVID-19 hubs is working across the county to help people who need support at this time and don’t have family, friends or neighbours they can ask for help.
For more information on the hubs or if you need help while isolating, visit https://www.peterborough.gov.uk/healthcare/public-health/coronavirus/coronavirus-covid-19-overview, https://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/news/cambridgeshire-communities-urged-to-support-nhs-test-and-trace or call 0345 045 5219.