NHS Borders urges public to comply with ‘Test and Protect’

The role NHS Scotland Test and Protect plays in containing future coronavirus outbreaks has been highlighted, as new research suggests people know their actions count.

By Kevin McRoberts
Friday, 7th August 2020, 7:30 am
Anyone who tests positive for Covid-19 will be asked to provide details of anyone they have been in close contact with as they may be at risk.
Anyone who tests positive for Covid-19 will be asked to provide details of anyone they have been in close contact with as they may be at risk.

With the vast majority (89 per cent) of people believing it necessary to follow the Scottish Government’s guidelines if the country is to get out of lockdown, NHS Borders is reminding people of the three things they need to do to suppress the virus as restrictions ease:

1: Self-isolate and book a test immediately if you have coronavirus symptoms – a new, persistent cough, high temperature or loss or change in taste or smell.

2: If the test result is positive, you’ll be confidentially contacted and asked to provide NHS Scotland with the names of people you’ve been in close contact with as they may be at risk.

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3: If you’re contacted by NHS Scotland to say you’ve been in close contact with someone that has the virus, isolate for 14 days. Following this advice is crucial as it can take 14 days for symptoms to develop, and the virus can be passed on during this time.

The research, released as the nation moves through phase 3 of the route map, shows that the majority of people in Scotland (92 per cent) see the role individuals have in suppressing coronavirus as important.

However, with one in ten (12 per cent) saying they are less likely to follow guidelines if others aren’t following them, NHS Borders is encouraging people to stick with it over the coming weeks and months to protect themselves, their loved ones and keep their community safe.

Dr Keith Allan, Associate Director of Public Health from NHS Borders, said: “Test and Protect is key to breaking the chains of coronavirus transmission, protecting the progress we’ve made and saving lives.

“If you have symptoms, we’re asking you to self-isolate, get tested and share details of those you’ve come into close contact with.

“If you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive and are asked to self-isolate by the NHS, it’s important to follow that advice.

“For this to work, we need everyone’s help.

“Taking these three steps, alongside following the FACTS guidelines, not only helps set a good example – it will help keep the virus under control and allow us to continue to emerge from lockdown.”

People can book a test at nhsinform.scot/test-and-protect or call 0800 028 2816 if they can’t get online.

The website provides information on additional support available.

Those who cannot leave their home or get the help they need from family, friends or online can call the National Assistance Helpline on 0800 111 4000.