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NHS test and trace service and the new 119 telephone number (updated)

This post was updated on 28 May 2020 at 1840 to add additional information that has since been released regarding the NHS test and trace service.

Today, 28 May 2020, the NHS test and trace service went live.

This new service aims to ensure that anyone who develops symptoms of COVID-19 can be tested quickly to find out if they have the SARS-CoV2 virus, as well as targeted testing of NHS and social care staff and care home residents who don’t have symptoms. The service will help trace close recent contacts of anyone who tests positive for the virus and if necessary notifies them that they must self-isolate at home to stop the virus spreading.

The UK Government feels that the new service will help “return life more to normal” in a way that is safe and protects our NHS and soial care. They hope the service will give early warnings if the virus increases again, both locally and nationally.

You may be contacted by the NHS test and trace service telling you that you have recently had contact with someone confirmed to have the virus. If you are contacted:

  1. The alert will usually come by text, email or phone call. You should then log on to the NHS test and trace website, which is normally the easiest way for you and the service to communicate with each other – but, if not, a trained call handler will talk you through what you must do. Under-18s will get a phone call and a parent or guardian will be asked to give permission for the call to continue. Text messages will come from 0300 0135000
  2. You will be told to begin self-isolation for 14 days from your last contact with the person who has tested positive. It’s really important to do this even if you don’t feel unwell because, if you have been infected, you could become infectious to others at any point up to 14 days. Your household doesn’t need to self-isolate with you, if you do not have symptoms, but they must take extra care to follow the guidance on social distancing and handwashing and avoid contact with you at home
  3. If you develop symptoms of coronavirus, other members of your household must self-isolate immediately at home for 14 days and you must book a test at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or call 119 if you have no internet access. If your test is positive, you must continue to stay at home for at least 7 days and the test and trace service will get in touch to ask about your contacts since they must self-isolate. If your test is negative, you must still complete your 14-day self-isolation period because the virus may not be detectable yet – this is crucial to avoid unknowingly spreading the virus.
Important

The NHS Test and Trace service will never:

- ask for bank details or payments
- ask for details of any other accounts, such as social media
- ask you to set up a password or PIN number over the phone
- ask you for details of previous schools, maiden names or pet's names
- ask you to call a premium rate number, such as those starting 09 or 087

If anyone contacts you claiming to be from the NHS test and trace service
and asks you for any of these, hang up immediately and report this to the
police as this is a scam being carried out by criminals trying to access
your financial information 

More information is available on the UK Government website.

If you cannot access the internet and need to speak with the NHS Coronavirus testing service, dial 119 from any phone.

28 May 2020

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