Track & Trace
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Westminster's Contact Tracing Scheme
We are all better informed than we were back in March 2020, so we know what to do to try and prevent more waves of infection.
In our communities, we care about older people & will do everything we can to stop the virus spreading to them. We must also do whatever we can to prevent further lockdowns. MEWSo, in partnership with the BME Health Forum & Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, are taking part in a project to inform the public about Westminster Council's Contact Tracing Scheme.
Why Do We Have A Contact Tracing Scheme?
The Contact Tracing Scheme is there to try and stop transmission of the virus, particularly by people who show no symptoms. Studies have shown that up to 70% of people who have the virus never develop symptoms, but they can still be highly infectious.
Therefore, it is not enough for people who are showing symptoms just to self-isolate. We need everyone who might be infected but show no symptoms to self-isolate as well. The only way we can identify those people is if those we know are infected let the Contact Tracing Service know who they have been in close contact with in recent days. Then the service can contact these people and ask them to self-isolate - even though they don’t have symptoms.
Participation in the scheme is voluntary but here's why it is important
People who have the virus infect others, even if they themselves don't have any symptoms.
It can take up to 14 days for someone who has the virus to show any symptoms.
We don't know if people who have had Covid-19 can catch it a second time. It is possible a person has some immunity soon after their illness, but this can fade over time. This is what happens with similar such viruses that cause the common cold. But at this stage, we don't have the research evidence to back this up.
If you have symptoms self-isolate with your whole household and get tested. You can order a test online at: www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test (or just Google ‘NHS covid test’), or ring 119 and ask for a test. The phone line gives you options to speak in English or a different language. If you need help just call us.
If the test is positive, you must self-isolate for 10 days (and so must anyone else in your household with symptoms), while the rest of your household needs to self-isolate for 14 days to make sure they don’t develop symptoms later on.
If the test is positive, the Contact Tracing Service will be in touch by text, email or phone. They do NOT share any information with the Home Office. Just give them details of the people you’ve recently been in contact with (spent 15 minutes together less than two metres apart, up to two days before you had symptoms). These people will not be told that it was you who gave their details. The service is anonymous.
Don’t worry if you don’t have details of everyone you’ve been in contact with such as bus passengers.
You can add the contact information here: https://contact-tracing.phe.gov.uk/ using a username and password. Otherwise you can pass on the details over the phone to the contact tracer.
If the Contact Tracing Service contact you because someone you know has had the virus, you and your household must self-isolate for 14 days.
It’s important to use the Contact Tracing Service so that Public Health can understand how an outbreak is developing and pinpoint it more specifically, eg: to a particular factory, or work place or street.
There is some financial help for employees who are forced to self-isolate, such as Statutory Sick Pay even if you don’t have symptoms. Your local authority and local food bank can also provide you with help with shopping and deliver it to your door.
Currently, in this country there is NO functioning app used for contact tracing.
The Contact Tracing Service is NOT a vaccination programme - having a vaccine is voluntary but it is advisable to have it if offered it, particularly if you or your family are considered vulnerable.
Information about the Contact Tracing Scheme by Westminster Council can be found:
www.westminster.gov.uk/test-and-trace and the full Question & Answer information about the Contact Tracing Scheme can be found here: www.westminster.gov.uk/sites/default/files/test_and_trace_faq.pdf
If you would like more information about our campaign, please don’t hesitate to contact us. If you would like to support our cause, please consider donating or look at our vacancy page for volunteering options.