New contact tracing service

Today – Tuesday, January 19th – sees the launch of local contact tracing by Bath & North East Somerset Council public protection officers as part of the continuing effort to stop the spread of Covid-19.

The council is rolling out the service to support and complement the national NHS Test & Trace system and to ensure that people who have tested positive know that they need to isolate, share their close contacts and are aware of the support available.

People who have been unable to be contacted by Test & Trace within 24 hours will be referred to the council’s Public Protection team. The team will contact the person by text to notify them that they will soon receive a phone call, then three attempts will be made to contact them by phone over a 24-hour period.

Where contact is not made by phone, the council will send a letter asking the person to contact an officer together with a contact tracing questionnaire.

The new system will also ensure anyone who needs support from the Community Wellbeing Hub or may be eligible for the £500 self-isolation support payment are aware of the help available to them during isolation.

The local contact tracing service will run Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm and from 9am to 12.30pm on weekends.

Councillor Paul Crossley, cabinet member for Community Services, said: “Making sure that people who have tested positive for Covid-19 know they must self-isolate is hugely important in preventing the spread of the virus, which is why we’re introducing this local service to complement NHS Test & Trace. If you receive a text from us letting you know one of our team is going to telephone you, please do answer the call and be ready to share with us who your recent close contacts are so we can all work together to protect others.

“Our team will also be able to help you register for the government’s Test & Trace isolation support payment if you think you might be eligible. There is also lots of local help available for those who need it during isolation, including from the Community Wellbeing Hub which brings all the support together under one roof.”

The Community Wellbeing Hub can be contacted by:

The government has introduced a Test and Trace Support Payment of £500 to help people who have lost income due to the need to self-isolate.

All council updates on coronavirus can be found at https://beta.bathnes.gov.uk/coronavirus