Test and trace: what you need to know

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Alert

We are now in national lockdown and you must not leave home unless necessary. This is the most important thing we can do to protect ourselves, the NHS and save lives. 

You may only leave the home to: 

  • shop for essential items for you or a vulnerable person 
  • go to work if you cannot work from home  
  • exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person, this should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area 
  • seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse) 

For full restrictions, please visit the government website. 

More downloadable resources:

Are you experiencing coronavirus symptoms? (high temperature, new continuous cough, loss to smell or taste)  

  • you must immediately self-isolate with your household and order a test immediately 
  • To order a test call 119 or visiting nhs.uk/coronavirus 

Local COVID-19 test centres 

It’s really important to get tested if you experience symptoms, but we’re also making sure residents can get tested even if you don’t.

Visit out test unit webpage to find out more.

Have you downloaded the NHS Test and Trace app?

The government has introduced the NHS test and trace service.  

This is now supported by the NHS COVID-19 smartphone app

It has a number of features: 

  • Trace: find out when you've been near other app users who have tested positive for coronavirus. 

  • Alert: lets you know the level of coronavirus risk in your postcode district. 

  • Check-in: get alerted if you've visited a venue where you may have come into contact with coronavirus, using a simple QR code scanner. No more form filling. 

  • Symptoms: check if you have coronavirus symptoms and see if you need to order a test. 

  • Test: helps you order a test if you need to. 

  • Isolate: keep track of your self-isolation countdown and access relevant advice. 

Local tracing service

We have launched an enhanced local tracing service to help contact residents the national service has not been able to reach. If you receive a call from this team the number displaying on your phone will be 020 8496 3000. If you miss the call, the team can be called back on 020 8496 1400

The Waltham Forest Local Outbreak Control Plan 

As part of the wider national Test and Trace programme, Local Authorities have been asked to develop Local Outbreak Control Plans. 

The Waltham Forest Local Outbreak Control Plan sets out our approach to preventing, identifying and managing any local outbreaks. 

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I don’t feel well, I’m not sure if it’s COVID-19

If you think you may have COVID-19 symptoms, you should promptly get advice from the ​NHS 111 online coronavirus service.

Having checked my symptoms, I think I might have COVID-19, what do I do?

Immediately self-isolate and arrange to get yourself tested at or call 119 if you have no internet access.  

What do I do while I’m waiting for my test/results?

While you wait to be tested and to get your results you should remain isolated.

Anyone else in your household should also self-isolate for 10 days from when you started having symptoms. Studies have shown people can have the virus for up to two weeks without symptoms.

Also tell people you've been in close contact with in the past 48 hours that you might have coronavirus. 

If you test negative for COVID-19

If the test comes back negative, you and other members of your household no longer need to self-isolate. 

If you test positive for COVID-19

If you test positive for the virus you must continue to self-isolate for at least 10 days from when your symptoms started.

Members of your household must complete 10 days of self-isolation from when you first showed symptoms.

Find more information on how long you need to self-isolate through the NHS website.

What happens next?

Within 24 hours of testing positive for COVID-19 you should be contacted regarding the NHS Test and Trace programme. 

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

Tracing everyone who may have been in direct contact with someone with COVID-19 is an essential part of stopping the spread of the virus.

The text or email will contain instructions on how to share details of the people you have been in close, recent contact with.

This includes your family or other people you live with, as well as people you have been in direct contact with, or within 2 metres of, for more than 15 minutes.

You will also need to advise them of places you have recently visited.

The information you provide will be handed over via a secure website. If you don’t have internet access you will be called by one of the 25,000 contact tracers.

The service will be using a single phone number which is: 0300 013 5000

The contact tracing team will use the information you provide to alert those most at risk of having the virus that they need to self-isolate. No one contacted as a result of you testing positive for coronavirus will be told your identity. 
 
I feel fine, but NHS Test and Trace have told me I’ve been in contact with someone with COVID-19

Testing and tracing is key to combatting the spread of covid-19.

If you're told that you've been in contact with a person who has coronavirus you will need to self-isolate for 10 days from the day you were last in contact with the person.  

Do not leave your home for any reason, if you need food or medicine, order it online or by phone, or ask friends and family to drop it off at your home.

Do other people in my household also have to self-isolate?

People you live with do not need to self-isolate if you do not have symptoms.

However, if you live with someone at higher risk from coronavirus, try to arrange for them to stay with friends or family for 10 days while you are self-isolating.

If that is not possible, you can find ​advice on how to avoid spreading coronavirus to people you live with through the NHS website.

If you subsequently feel you may be developing symptoms, you should promptly get advice from the ​NHS 111 online coronavirus service.
 
I will not be able to work if I self-isolate, what help is available?

Find more information on how Waltham Forest can help through financial assistance for residents 

Information on the full range of financial support available to self-isolating individuals and businesses is available on the ​HM Treasury website

Will I only need to self-isolate once?  

Not necessarily.

Given the risks of exposure to different people with COVID-19, you could be asked to isolate on more than one occasion.