The NHS Test and Trace scheme is now live across the country, including here on the Isle of Wight. You’ll be contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service if you test positive for COVID-19. You’ll be asked where you’ve been recently and who you’ve been in close contact with. This will help the NHS contact anyone who may have caught the virus from you. Also, you might be told you’ve been in contact with a person who has coronavirus, then you’ll get advice on what to do next.
If you have coronavirus symptoms
Anyone with a new, continuous cough, a high temperature of a change in their sense of smell or taste should immediately self-isolate and order a test.
You need to get the test done in the first five days of having symptoms. Do not wait. Ask for the test as soon as you have symptoms.
As soon as you develop symptoms:
Self-isolate for at least 7 days – this applies to everyone, even if you have already had the virus. Anyone else in your household should self-isolate for 14 days from when you started having symptoms.
Test – report these symptoms and book a test at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus.
You can ask for a test of someone you live with, including children of all ages, if they have coronavirus symptoms.
If you are an essential worker or live with an essential worker, including NHS or social care staff, are asking for tests for the residents and staff of a care home, or have a verification code from your employer, you need can book at test at www.gov.uk/apply-coronavirus-test-essential-workers.
The test involves taking a swab of the nose and the back of the throat. When you order a test, you will get information on the options available.
The different ways you can get tested are:
- book a visit to a drive-through regional testing site – ours is at 1Leisure Medina in Newport.
- order a home testing kit delivered to your door. You can test yourself and your family without leaving your house. You will need to swab your children if they are under 11.
- To book an appointment call 119
- To book an appointment online www.nhs.uk/coronavirus
- For the latest guidance on eligibility, visit the GOV.UK website: Coronavirus (COVID-19) getting tested
Note that there is high demand for tests at the moment, and if you need help or advice on getting a test there is more information on the NHS website.
You should get your test results within 48 hours of a swab being taken, or within 72 hours for a home test.
If your test is positive you must complete the remainder of your 7-day self-isolation. Anyone in your household should also complete self-isolation for 14 days from when you started having symptoms. If your test is negative, you and other household members no longer need to isolate.
If you test positive for coronavirus, the NHS Test and Trace service will contact you by phone, text or email within 24 hours with instructions on how to share details of people you have been in close, recent contact with, and places you have visited.
It is important that you respond as soon as possible so that the other people can be contacted. You will be asked to do this on a secure website or by phone with an NHS contract tracer.
Find out more at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-test-and-trace-how-it-works
The information you give will be confidential and will only be used by NHS Test and Trace service to contain the virus. It will not be shared with other bodies.
Even if you have not self-isolated or obeyed social distancing, the information you give will not be shared.
Isolating when you live with a vulnerable person
Where possible, people who are self-isolating should not share a household with anyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable and is shielding. If you live with someone higher risk from coronavirus, try to arrange for them to stay with friends or family for 14 days.
Who is at higher risk? Check this website for more guidance. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/people-at-higher-risk/whos-at-higher-risk-from-coronavirus/
If you have to stay in the same home together, read about how to avoid spreading coronavirus to people you live with – https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-and-treatment/how-to-avoid-spreading-coronavirus-to-people-you-live-with/
If you have been specifically asked to isolate by the Test and Trace service, the guidance is slightly different from above.
If the Test and Trace service contacts you
If you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive:
- Alert: The alert will come either by text or email, and you’ll need to log on to the NHS Test and Trace website or a trained call handler will talk you through what you need to do. Under 18s will get a phone call and a parent or guardian will be asked to give permission for the call to continue
- Isolate: You will be asked to being self-isolation for up to 14 days, depending on when you last came into contact with the person who has tested positive (this applies to everyone, even if you have already had the virus). It’s really important to do this even if you don’t feel unwell, because it can take up to 14 days for the symptoms to develop. This will be crucial to avoid you unknowingly spreading the virus to others. If you don’t have symptoms, your household doesn’t need to self-isolate with you, but they must take extra care to follow the guidance on social distancing and washing their hands. You should try to avoid contact with them as much as possible.
- Do not leave your home for any reason – if you need food or medicine, order it online or by phone, or ask friends or family to drop it off at your home. You can also request support from the Isle of Wight helpline 01983 823 600 between 9am and 5pm, 7 days a week or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have no access to any other support.
- Do not have visitors in your home, including friends and family – except for essential care.
- If you develop symptoms of coronavirus, other members of your household should immediately begin to self-isolate at home for 14 days and you should book a coronavirus test at http://www.nhs.uk/coronavirus. 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. Your household no longer needs to isolate unless one of you develops symptoms.
If it is possible for you to work from home, then you should do so
If you unable to work, Statutory Sick Pay is available to employees who have been contacted by the Test and Trace service as they have come into contact with someone who has coronavirus.
If you cannot work from home while you are self-isolating, you may also be entitled to Employment Support Allowance.
Some employers may also apply their own sickness policies and continue to offer full pay for all or some of your isolation period.
You may also be able to claim a grant through the Self Employment Income Support Scheme
Evidence of self-isolating
The NHS Test and Trace service will provide a notification that can be used as evidence you have been told to self-isolate. If you are self-isolating because you have symptoms of coronavirus or live with someone who has symptoms, you can get an isolation note through NHS111 online.
Avoiding fraudulent calls from fake contact tracers
Text messages will come from the NHS. Calls will come from 0300 0135000. The NHS Test and Trace service will not:
- ask for bank details or payments
- ask for details of any other accounts, such as social media
- ask you to set up a password or PIN number over the phone
- ask you to call a premium rate number, such as those starting 09 or 087
- 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 do not wish to talk over the phone, NHS Test and Trace service can offer to send an email or text instead inviting you to log into a web-based service.
This document is correct to 30 June 2020 and guidance may change. Please check government websites for latest information.
Produced by IW Council Communications team