North Somerset Council launches local test and trace service
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NHS Test and Trace will be supported locally by North Somerset Council following the launch of a new service.
People who have had a positive Covid-19 test will be contacted by the authority’s test and trace system, to help them keep themselves and the virus isolated.
They will also receive calls from the council’s public health teams, who will offer advice about where to get financial and practical support while self-isolating, as well as identifying close contacts to pass back to the national service.
The local service assists NHS Test and Trace by picking up calls where the national team have been unable to get hold of cases within 24 hours.
The council says the benefit of local case handling is the authority's staff understand the area and will use the information it holds to contact people who need to isolate.
They can also give people details of the local support available through North Somerset Together to help them self-isolate, as well as signposting to mental health support and information about the self-isolation grant.
The council's director of public health, Matt Lenny, said: “Our local team of contact tracers are working with the national service to make sure we make contact with as many confirmed cases and their contacts as possible to give timely self-isolation advice.
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“This is such a crucial way for us to be able to take positive action to stop the spread and keep North Somerset safe and we are really grateful that when we speak to people, they are keen to do the right thing to protect their loved ones and their community.”
For those who test positive for Covid-19, NHS Test and Trace will text, email or phone to find out who they may have been in contact with.
In-line with government guidelines, those who have been in close contact with a confirmed case will also need to self-isolate.
National calls will come from 0300 013 5000 or 0300 123 7790 and local calls from 01934 313777.
North Somerset Council executive member for health, Mike Bell, said anyone worried about the impact of self-isolating for themselves, their family or friends can visit www.n-somerset.gov.uk/together to find out what support is available locally.