County council staff to conduct local contact tracing

This story was published 5 November 2020

Contact tracing of North Yorkshire people who test positive for Covid-19 is being supported locally by county council staff.

Person sat at a desk

From today (5 November), if the national test and trace system is unable to contact someone who has tested positive within 24 hours, this will be handed to the local contact tracing team to follow up.

Our Corporate Director of Health and Adult Services, Richard Webb, said: “Contact tracing and self-isolation play a vital role in controlling the number of cases across North Yorkshire.

“It is essential that people who need to isolate do so to help to drive down the rate of infection across the county. Therefore, we need the contact tracing system to be as efficient and effective as possible. Our county council customer support team, supported by colleagues from Public Health, have local knowledge and are used to contacting and talking to local people.”

Initially, the national test and trace system will try to contact someone who has tested positive using a 0300 number. If they are unable to contact the person within 24 hours, this will be handed to the local contact tracing team to follow up. Residents will be contacted on an 01609 number and spoken to by a member of the customer support team on behalf of public health, who will provide specialist support where needed.

Local contact tracing calls will be made by trained county council staff, who will provide a seven-day-a-week service, from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 1pm Saturday and Sunday.

Callers will never ask residents to:

  • dial a premium number
  • make any form of payment
  • provide bank account details
  • provide passwords or PIN numbers
  • disclose any personal or medical information
  • download any software

If you have symptoms of Covid-19, you must self-isolate from the onset of symptoms for 10 days and those in the same household must isolate for 14 days. If you have no symptoms, you and your household should self-isolate from the day of the test.

At all times, people must keep up the essential measures of “hands, face and space” – wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, keep a safe two-metre distance from people outside your household or support bubble and wear a face covering in public indoor areas as well as outdoors in busy places. You must stay at home, work from home where possible, minimise travel and only go out for essential reasons.

Find more information on how to stay safe.

Any additional costs from contact tracing to the County Council will be met through existing budgets and Government funding to support management of the coronavirus. The authority has been given access by Public Health England to test and trace training resources at no cost.