SWANSEA and Neath Port Talbot councils have set up COVID tracing teams to help locate people who’ve come into contact with those who test positive for coronavirus.
And while the number of positive tests in the area has been low in recent weeks, the teams are fully-trained and ready to support the NHS should the situation change.
Dr Keith Reid, Executive Director for Public Health for the Swansea Bay area, said:
“As the lockdown eases, we all need to continue to remember that the three things we can all do to keep each other safe are to wash or sanitise our hands frequently, keep two metres from people wherever possible and wear a mask if needed, such as on public transport.
“Should you or any member of your immediate family show symptoms of the virus you should stay at home, get yourself tested for free by calling the NHS on 119 and wait for the results.
“If you test positive our contact tracing team will speak with you so that we can get in touch with those you’ve been in touch with recently to offer them advice on what they should do next. That will be to self-isolate for 14 days and to get a test if symptoms develop.”
“The science proves that this is the quickest way to prevent the spread of the virus and protect our communities.”
“Contacts who have no symptoms should not get a test but they will still need to self-isolate. They will get advice from the contact tracing team on what to do if they develop symptoms during the self-isolation period.
Dr Reid said that over the summer, working in collaboration with Swansea Bay University Health Board and Public Health Wales, the two councils have set up seven contact tracing teams.
Four have been set up in Swansea and another four teams can be added quickly if needed. Three teams are currently operating in Neath Port Talbot with plans already in place to increase this if required.
Dr Reid said: “Our residents and communities have been very supportive of the NHS over the last five months. That’s why the number of positive cases of Covod-19 has been low.
“It’s given us an opportunity to create and train contact tracing teams to manage the current demand. But we can also call on extra staff rapidly to react to any rise in the number of positive tests.”
Residents are reminded that no member of a contact tracing team will ask for financial information or request payment for a Covid-19 test. All testing services are free.
To find out more about getting a test go here: https://sbuhb.nhs.wales/coronavirus-covid-19/information
People can also call 01639 862757 (9am – 8pm) to book a test, or freephone 119 for a home testing kit and those with hearing or speech difficulties can call 18001 119.
For the latest Welsh Government advice on all aspects of Covid-19 go here: https://gov.wales/coronavirus