South Cambridgeshire District Council, in partnership with councils across Cambridgeshire, is running a countywide contact tracing service, working closely with NHS Test and Trace to contact people who have tested positive for COVID-19, giving them help, advice and support to self-isolate.
The countywide scheme launched on 19 November 2020 and is an expansion of the Peterborough contact tracing service which was set-up in August and proved valuable in keeping rates of the virus reduced.
Officers from each of the councils, who have undergone special training in contact tracing, will be following up on people who have tested positive for COVID-19 but have not responded to a call or email from the national service, and will ask them for details of their close contacts.
The quicker we can reach people who’ve tested positive and get them to isolate - and get them to share details of who they’ve been in contact with - the quicker we can break the chain of infection.
A step-by-step guide to how the system works:
- If the national NHS Test and Trace service is unable to make contact with anyone who tests positive who lives in Cambridgeshire or Peterborough after 24 hrs, they will refer the details into our new, local Cambridgeshire and Peterborough contact tracing team.
- The local team will receive this information daily, 7 days a week.
- The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough team will contact people, initially by phone or text or email, and this will show up as a local number or come from an official council email address. The person will be asked to contact a local number.
- If we can’t contact the person through phone/SMS/email after another 24 hours we will send a council officer to their address to speak to them personally.
- We will provide advice, get details of their ‘contacts’ and then update the national system with this information.
- The national process and service will then take over and get in touch with the close contacts of the people we’ve spoken to. The loop currently ends there for us in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
- When we make contact we will also see if people need any support or help through the South Cambridgeshire Hub – this could be financial support if people are unable to work, support to shop for food, get medication or undertake essential household chores etc.
Anyone who is concerned about being contacted can call the Council or local community hub to check the identity of the tracer on 03450455219.
Support is available for people who need to isolate who don’t have friends or family who can help them.
Please contact the South Cambridgeshire Hub on 03450 455 218 or by visiting Coronavirus help.
People who meet certain criteria may also be eligible for a one-off payment from the Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme.
There is also a £500 discretionary payment available for people who do not receive benefits, which is a requirement to claim from the Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme, but are still adversely affected as a result of not being able to work.
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