• Kirsten

What to expect from Contact Tracing

Scotland’s approach to implementing the ‘test, trace, isolate, support’ strategy, Test and Protect, is now live across the country.

The new system will gradually change the restrictions that help to suppress COVID-19 so society can adapt to a new normal.

If you experience any one of the symptoms – a high temperature, a new continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – you must immediately self-isolate for a minimum of seven days. Additionally, those who start showing symptoms should go to www.nhsinform.scot or call 0800 028 2816 to arrange to get tested.

When contacting individuals who have tested positive, contact tracers will ask people to identify others who they’ve been in close contact with and places they’ve been 48 hours prior to the onset of symptoms up until the time they’ve self-isolated. This information will then be inputted into contact tracing software and used to identify and contact those identified.

The positive individual will not be named by the contact tracer in line with patient confidentiality, unless they agree to have their details disclosed to help the contact tracing process.

Importantly, contact tracers will not ask anyone for information about bank accounts or medical records, and they will not try to sell you anything. The data gathered will be stored securely by NHS Scotland and safely destroyed as soon as possible after the pandemic concludes. It is vital to remember that this is one important element of protecting us all from Coronavirus, but good hand hygiene, cough etiquette, and social distancing are key.

Kirsten said: “I understand people may be worried about the risks of potential phone scams, but the NHS already has a number of protections in place to stop potential fraudsters and ensure all information is kept confidential. “east Renfrewshire constituents should be aware that contact tracers will always introduce themselves, explain the reason for their call, and identify who they are calling by name. “The tracers will be supported by software which builds on a tried and trusted platform, allowing teams to identify outbreaks and reduce transmission for high risk groups here in East Renfrewshire. “Trace and Protect is one way we will tackle this pandemic, but it it critical that physical distancing and good hand hygiene continues to play a key role in minimising the spread of the virus.”

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Kirsten Oswald MP for East Renfrewshire

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