As Surrey goes into Tier 4, it’s more important than ever that we get coronavirus under control. An effective test and trace system lies at the heart of the solution – if we know how and where coronavirus is spreading, it’s much easier to stop it in its tracks.
However, with scam calls destroying our confidence and sales calls destroying our patience, some of us are no longer answering our phones to unknown numbers. This creates a problem for the test and trace team – how can they get hold of vital details when people won’t talk to them?
If you have tested positive for coronavirus, you can expect to be contacted by the test and trace team soon afterwards. This is so they can ask you where you have been and who you have been with. They then use this information to contact others to ask them to self-isolate – with potentially infected people staying at home, there is less risk of COVID-19 spreading.
To save time when you get the call, and to give you confidence when you’re speaking to the test and tracer, it’s a good idea to start preparing for the questions as soon as you test positive. Also, if you develop symptoms and feel rotten when test and trace contact you, reading a list might be easier than trying to remember all the details of the last fortnight. If you get the call and you haven’t prepared, don’t worry – the callers are well trained and very understanding! However, planning ahead will make the call go more smoothly, which is never a bad thing.If you’re contacted by the Surrey team, the call will come from 01483 404 939. The national team will contact you from 0300 013 5000. These are official numbers and you can answer them with confidence. You can save them to your phone so you know it is test and trace contacting you.
There is also a national team working on test and trace, only we don’t know their number. If anyone has been contacted by them and still has a record of the phone number, please let Hillbers know so we can update this article! Thank you.
The person calling you will ask you where you have been over the last fortnight. If you can’t remember exactly, check your calendar or appointment diary and re-read your journal if you keep one. Social media can be a handy reminder, with many of us uploading our photos to Facebook and Instagram as soon as we take them. Clear out your pockets and check your receipts – it’s a ready-made list of what shops you went to and when.
The test and tracer will also want to know who you have seen in the last two weeks, and how close the contact was. Rather than trying to go through your phone during the test and trace call, write down a list of people you’ve been with and their phone numbers as soon as you know you’ve tested positive.
If you live in a household where more than one of you has tested positive, be warned that each person with coronavirus will be contacted separately. This can be annoying, but it has to be done because the different family members may well have been to different places and seen different people.
The Surrey test and trace team are doing a brilliant job of contacting people, gathering information and getting others to self-isolate – vital work in these troubled times. By taking their calls and answering their questions as well as you can, you too are playing your part in slowing the spread of coronavirus. On behalf of Surrey, thank you.