East Cambridgeshire District Council in partnership with councils across Cambridgeshire is running as 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 and is an expansion of the Peterborough contact tracing service which was set up in August and proved valueable 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 have tested positive and get them to isolate - and get them to share details of who they have been in contact with - the quicker we can break the chain of the 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 with a Cambridgeshire or Peterborough postcode after 24 hours, they will refer the details into our new, local Cambridgeshire and Peterborough contact tracing team.
- The local team will receive this information daily, seven 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 cannot 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 contact the close contacts of the people we have been in contact with. 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 East Cambridgeshire Hub - this council 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 0345 045 5219.
Support is available for people who need to isolate who do not have friends or family who can help them.
Please contact the East Cambridgeshire Hub on 01353 665555 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are on a low-income, and will be adversly affected as a result of not being able to work, you may be eligible for a one-off payment from the Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme.