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Answering NHS Test and Trace calls is the key to keeping Cornwall Covid safe

Residents in Cornwall are being urged to do the right thing to keep Cornwall Covid safe and potentially save lives, by answering the phone if they get an NHS test and trace call. 

It comes after new figures showed that around 40 percent of people in Cornwall identified as having had contact with a positive case of Covid-19 are currently not engaging with the NHS test and trace team, potentially putting lives at risk.  

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Cornwall Council, Public Health England and NHS Kernow thanked residents who have played their part helping Cornwall to maintain a comparatively low numbers of cases and transmission, by washing hands, following public health guidance on social distancing and wearing face coverings. But they urged residents to continue doing the right thing if they get a call from NHS test and trace.  

Increasing the number of people who take part in test and trace could reduce the chance of a second wave of Covid 19 in Cornwall significantly, by giving real-time data and the best information possible to stay on top of the situation.  

The Council is already working closely with Public Health England to follow up cases identified by NHS test and trace, so that they can identify outbreaks as soon as possible. 

If someone has symptoms of Covid-19 they can either go on-line to order a test or call 119.  Mobile testing units are located across the county. If they are confirmed as a positive case, they will be contacted by the NHS test and trace team and asked to give details of people they have been in close contact with over the last few days.  

The NHS test and trace team then get in touch with those people and inform them they have been in close contact with a positive case and advise them what to do next. 

Cllr Sally Hawken, Cornwall Council portfolio holder for children, wellbeing and public health said: “This is one of the ways we are all expected to play our part in limiting the spread of the virus. By not taking part people are potentially putting lives at risk in their community and increasing the risk of an outbreak of cases that could lead to parts of Cornwall, or even all of Cornwall, experiencing another lockdown. We know that there are many reasons people might not engage, but we’re safer together if we all do our part” 

The first type of contact by the NHS test and trace team, if possible, will be by email, asking you to click on a link for further information and instructions. If the NHS test and trace team receive no response to the email, someone will then phone you and provide instructions about what you need to do. The calls will come from an 0300 number. 

Rachel Wigglesworth, Cornwall Council’s Interim Director of public health said: “Now lockdown is easing it could be that people are more relaxed and think there is less of a threat, or it could be that some people don’t answer their phones to numbers they don’t know, but it’s crucial that we all play our part to help limit the spread of the virus.  

“Check your emails regularly, answer the phone and see who is calling. If it is the NHS test and trace service, then follow the instructions you are given. If you have symptoms,  then arrange a test as soon as possible and self-isolate.” 

To book a test online on visit www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or if you are unable to book online then call 119.