DORSET Council, in partnership with Public Health England, has launched a locally supported contact tracing system for the area.
Dorset Council’s customer services team will be working to help trace residents who have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
If the national NHS Test and Trace system is not able to contact a local resident after two days, their details will be passed on to the council to help find additional contact details.
The local contact tracing team will then try to get in touch with the resident by phone, text, or email over the following 72 hours.
Residents will be asked about their recent activities and who they may have been in contact with during this time. This information is then fed back to the national team who pick this up and attempt to contact anyone that may also have been infected.
Cllr Laura Miller, portfolio holder for Adult Social Care and Health, said: “Contact tracing is a vital part of the efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 and we’re working to support the national NHS Test and Trace service by calling, texting and emailing local residents who have tested positive for the virus.
“Now more than ever it is crucial that we all follow the new national lockdown restrictions. If you or a member of your household tests positive for COVID-19, if you are contacted by NHS Test and Trace, or if you are contacted by us, you must stay at home and self-isolate.”
During the call, residents will also be offered advice and guidance and support to help them isolate safely.
Sam Crowe, Director of Public Health for Dorset and BCP Councils, commented: “It’s great that Dorset Council is helping the national NHS Test and Trace team to locate residents who may have been in close contact with a positive COVID-19 case. The more resource we have in contacting these close contacts, the more people will be self-isolating and helping to slow down the spread of the virus.
“Everyone can play their part to help slow down the spread of coronavirus by downloading the NHS COVID-19 app and if you do get a positive coronavirus test result, please give the contact details of anyone who you may have been in close contact with to NHS Test and Trace so they can do their job and tell people to self-isolate. If you do get a call from the national team or Dorset Council telling you to self-isolate, please stay at home.”
If you have been told to self-isolate and are on low income or benefits you may be entitled to the Government’s NHS Test and Trace support payment. Find information, help and support to stay at home at www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/coronavirus
Further information on the NHS Test and Trace is available at www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-test-and-trace-how-it-works