People in Doncaster who have tested positive for COVID-19 or have been identified as a close contact may be contacted by the local or national team in a bid to reduce the spread of the virus across the borough.
With positive cases recently reaching the highest daily figures since the pandemic began the teams are working together to ensure that those who need to isolate are aware of the dates that they need to stay at home and have the support they need to do so.
Hannah Wild from Doncaster’s Public Health team said: “We all know that test and trace has played a really important role, along with asymptomatic testing and vaccinations, in reducing the spread of coronavirus in our community.
“It is important that people in the borough know that they could receive a call from either a local number or from the national team. Answering the call and providing details of close contacts is a really good way to help reduce the number of people infected with the virus.
“Please remember that contact tracing is anonymous, sometimes we are speaking to people who have tested positive, and they don’t want to give details of people they have had close contact with. This might be because they feel guilty that someone will have to isolate or because they know that the person might struggle financially if they are not able to work.
“Close contacts will not be told who the positive case is, and we are there to support people both emotionally and financially through the isolation period by providing details of the help and support that is available.
“As we are seeing COVID-19 infection rates reaching their highest figures to date we, and the national team, are working with more people in our community to make sure that they have all the correct information about self-isolating and know how long they need to stay at home for.
“We know that having to stay at home and away from loved ones can be difficult but by isolating when asked by local test and trace, people are helping to stop the spread of the virus.”
Over 18s can fill in contract tracing details online and around 35% of local cases are currently using this facility to help.
Hannah added: “Filling contact details in online is a quick and easy way to be able to help to identify people who need to isolate as a result of being a close contact.
“We know that it is hard, but we are reminding people that by sticking to the guidance around social distancing and wearing masks they are also protecting their loved ones. We are seeing more cases where people are naming large numbers of close contacts, often more than 10 people, and want to encourage people, especially as the figures are rising, to think carefully about the numbers of people they are mixing with.
“If you have any of the symptoms of COVID-19 you need to book a PCR test, either on the NHS website at nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119. You need to self-isolate along with all members of your household while you await your test result.”
The symptoms of COVID-19 are:
- a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- anosmia - this is the loss of or a change in the normal sense of smell. It can also affect the sense of taste as the two are closely linked.
Following the test, people should return home and continue to self-isolate and try to not have contact with others within the home.
Anyone receiving a positive test result will then be contacted by either Doncaster Test and Trace team by text or phone or by the national team.
If the national team are unable to reach people by telephone or text message, they may pass the details on to the local team who will visit the home address.
Hannah said: “The local and national teams will never ask for bank details or payments, details of other accounts, such as social media, you to set up a password or PIN number over the phone or for you to call a premium rate number, such as those starting 09 or 087.”
If you've been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 and need to self-isolate, you may get:
- an email, text or phone call from either the local Test and Trace team via an 01302 number or NHS Test and Trace – text messages will come from NHS tracing and calls will come from 0300 0135 000
- an alert from the NHS COVID-19 app
You'll be asked to sign into the NHS Test and Trace contact tracing website at https://contact-tracing.phe.gov.uk
If you cannot use the contact tracing website, they will call you.
Anyone asked to isolate needs to do so by law and this means you should:
- not go to work, school or public places
- not use public transport or taxis
- not walk the dog, instead ask a friend or family member to do it for you
- not visit parents, family or friends
- not go shopping or just ‘pop in’ to the supermarket – even for a quick visit
- ask friends, family members or delivery services to do errands for you
- avoid visitors to your home – it's OK for friends, family or delivery drivers to drop off food and other goods to your doorstep
Anyone told to stay at home and self-isolate by the test and trace team, either because they have tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive; are unable to work and will lose income as a result, may be eligible to apply for a self-isolation support payment of £500.
A parent or guardian who will lose earnings because you are caring for a child who is self-isolating, may also be eligible.
For further details of self-isolation support payments and to apply, visit www.doncaster.gov.uk/doitonline/apply-for-a-self-isolation-support-payment, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01302 735336 (option one).
- Category: Health & wellbeing