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Test and trace vital in tackling COVID-19

by Jonathan Kearney

Dr Sarah McNulty, Knowsley’s Director of Public Health, stresses the importance of test and trace to tackle Coronavirus.

The NHS Test and Trace service launched at the end of May to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and ultimately save lives.

With lockdown restrictions now starting to gradually ease, it’s more important than ever that we listen to the advice of health professionals and help to stop the spread of Coronavirus, protecting not only yourself, but those of others around you.

Anyone who develops Coronavirus symptoms – a high temperature, a new or persistent cough or a loss of taste or smell – can now book a test to see if they have the virus. If they test positive, they must continue to stay at home for seven days or until their symptoms have passed. Their household contacts should isolate for 14 days. You can book a test on the NHS website or by ringing 119.

Anyone who tests positive for coronavirus will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace and will need to share information about their recent interactions. This could include household members, people with whom they have been in direct face to face contact, or within two metres for more than 15 minutes. The NHS Test and Trace team will then make contact and provide advice to them which include staying at home for 14 days, even if they do not display symptoms. This will help them to stop, unknowingly, spreading the virus.

Dr Sarah McNulty, Director of Public Health for Knowsley, said Test and Trace will be vital to identify, control and contain Coronavirus.

She said: “It’s vitally important that everyone plays their part in helping to stop the spread of Coronavirus. With lockdown restrictions easing, it’s even more important that our residents not only look after themselves, but in doing so, protect others.”
“If anyone is displaying symptoms of coronavirus it is really important that you book a test to see if you have the virus. More dates have been added for the mobile testing unit here in Knowsley, making it easier for our residents to be tested locally.”
“Infection rates in Knowsley are not reducing as quickly as in other areas so by helping to stop the spread of the virus with Track and Trace we can prevent the need for further lockdowns.
“If you are contacted by the Test and Trace team, please ensure you follow the advice given – it really will help to save lives.”

If you are contacted by the NHS Test and Trace team by text, it will come from NHStracing and calls will come from 0300 0135000.

Further information about the Test and Trace programme is available on the NHS website.