Cheshire East Council’s locally supported Covid-19 contact tracing service is going live this week.
The new contact tracing service will not replace the national NHS Test & Trace system but is being designed to complement it.
The national test & trace team will provide the local team with a daily list of Covid-19 positive cases who they have been unable to contact within 24 hours. This can be for various reasons such as a lack of contact information or unavailability.
The council-run service will allow its own contact tracers to do welfare checks for residents who have tested positive and are required to self-isolate.
The purpose of the welfare check is to offer support, if required, during the isolation period. This support can include:
- Accessing essential supplies (such as food and medicines);
- Linking to social contact support services to prevent loneliness; and
- Financial support. If you are worried about falling into financial hardship as a result of having to isolate call 0300 123 5032 or visit https://www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/council_and_democracy/council_information/coronavirus/test-and-trace-support-payment.aspx
Dr Matt Tyrer, Director of Public Health for Cheshire East Council said: “It’s important that residents who have symptoms self-isolate immediately and only leave home to get a Covid-19 test. If this test comes back as positive you must continue to self-isolate to avoid spreading the virus further. It is also a legal requirement. We are here to support our local residents in meeting that requirement and ensure they don’t suffer undue hardship as a result.
“Having the virus may make many people feel extremely tired, so it’s important that you drink plenty of water and rest to allow your body to fight off the virus and recuperate.
“Our local contact tracing team will be able to offer advice and information on where to access help and support should you need it.”
Councillor Jill Rhodes, cabinet member for public health and corporate services at Cheshire East Council, said: “This Cheshire East service will allow us to have a more personalised approach to contact tracing, our residents will be able to hear a friendly local voice at the end of the phone, who can offer tailored advice and support.
“We understand that when self-isolating many residents may need practical support such as shopping for food or financial advice to help with bills. Our People Helping People initiative links up local volunteers to offer community-based support. Full details about this and information on benefits and financial advice can be found at https://www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/council_and_democracy/council_information/coronavirus/coronavirus-covid-19.aspx”
If you need urgent, practical support to self-isolate, help is available in the form of a test and trace support payment. More information and how to apply can be found at https://www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/council_and_democracy/council_information/coronavirus/test-and-trace-support-payment.aspx
The Cheshire East Council service launches this week and will have a phased roll-out across the borough. If you receive a call from the Cheshire East Covid contact tracing team, please take the call as information gathered will help the council to stop outbreaks and bring case numbers down across Cheshire East. This will result in us all being able to get back to a more normal way of life more quickly.
A reminder of isolation requirements for households;
To reduce the spread of COVID-19 everyone who has symptoms must self-isolate at home and only leave to get a test. If they test positive, they must continue to self-isolate at home. This can save lives. You must by law take the following actions immediately;
- Self-isolate for 10 days;
- Those in your household must self-isolate for 14 days and;
- Inform your employer of your period of self-isolation if you are due to work during this period at any place other than where you are self- isolating
- You must stay at home. Do not go to work, school or shopping;
- Do not send your children to school or nursery. They must stay home along with the rest of the household and;
- Do not invite friends or family into your home.
Failure to follow these instructions could result in a fine of up to £10,000.