NHS Dumfries & Galloway

Launch of Test and Protect programme

A national contact tracing programme for COVID-19 was officially launched in Scotland today.

‘Test and Protect’ aims to limit the spread of coronavirus by identifying those who have the virus, asking them to self and household isolate and then identifying individuals who have had close contact with the positive case and are at risk of developing the virus and asking them to self isolate – thus helping to reduce the risk of transmission to other people.

NHS Dumfries and Galloway Interim Director of Public Health Valerie White said: “Today marks the launch of the Test and Protect programme in Scotland. In Dumfries and Galloway we have our contact tracing team in place.

“An individual who experiences symptoms of coronavirus should self isolate along with their Household as per the current arrangements.

“Those with symptoms should make arrangements to have a test by accessing the Scottish Government website to book a test. We have a mobile testing facility that is travelling around the region at the moment that can be booked through the online system.

“If that test result is positive, those individuals will be contacted by our contact tracing team. The team will have a conversation with the individual and help them to identify people they have been in contact with during the period they have been infectious – the contacts.

“The team will then review the list of contacts and determine those which would be classified as close contacts. Close contacts will then be contacted by the team to advise they have been in contact with somebody who has tested positive for coronarvirus.

“We will give them advice to isolate for a period of 14 days and to monitor themselves for symptoms. If that contact then develops symptoms and tests positive for coronavirus, the the contact tracing system would start again.

“This is a big ask for our community, but we have been excellent at abiding by the rules so far and I am sure we will continue to do this. For those individuals who may find it difficult to undertake periods of self-isolation, we will make arrangements for them to be supported through our council-led team who have been providing support for those who have been undertaking shielding, and that links in to the fabulous support that’s been provided through our local community and the third sector to provide support to individuals at this difficult time.”

Further advice can be found on NHS Inform –https://www.nhsinform.scot/campaigns/test-and-protect

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