What is Test and Trace?
Anyone who is showing symptoms of Covid-19 needs to be tested. Test and Trace supports the national NHS system to identify contacts of those who have received a positive test. The aim is to control the rate of reproduction of the virus (R Rate), to reduce the spread of infection, keep the public safe and protect the capacity of the NHS.
Anyone who tests positive will be contacted by Public Health England (PHE) and asked to share information about their recent interactions with other people in the two days before the symptoms started and up to seven days afterwards.
This information will help to trace anyone that the individual may have come into contact with and who therefore could be at risk of infection and spreading it further. For further information on how NHS Test and Trace works, please visit the Gov.uk website.
What is our local approach to Test and Trace?
The Government established a Contain Framework to set out how national and local partners work with the public at a local level to prevent, contain and manage outbreaks. Test and Trace is the national programme run by Public Health England, with localised support from Local Authorities.
Our local community has settings and population groups that are at particular risk and therefore need a considered approach to minimise harm. The successful management of local outbreaks is a core element of breaking the Covid-19 transmission and our local decision makers are empowered to take local action where needed.
Further information is available on the Wokingham Borough Council website.
What is an outbreak?
An ‘outbreak’ is a situation in which two or more persons have the same disease, and where there is a time, place and/or person association between these individuals. An outbreak may also be defined as a situation where the number of cases exceeds the expected number. An incident may warrant further investigation to manage the risk and implement further public health measures.
The successful management of local outbreaks is a core element of breaking the Covid-19 transmission. Our local decision makers are empowered to take local action where needed. Local Authorities have a duty to produce an Outbreak Control Plan overseen by Public Health England which sets out how to prevent, contain and manage outbreaks.
You can read the full Wokingham Borough Council Outbreak Control Plan here.
What is a local lockdown?
The government has introduced local alert levels to ensure there is the right level of intervention in the right places to manage outbreaks. You can read more about these on the Gov.uk website. Please note these are currently suspended while we are under a national lockdown.
A local lockdown is a response to address local spikes in infections and tighten restrictions in individual locations. Depending on the prevalence of the virus, it could lead to the closure of schools, businesses and workplaces in areas with a high risk of infection.
Local alert levels will involve an assessment of a range of data which comes from a variety of sources including the Joint Biosecurity Centre, as well as intelligence gathered from Local Health Protection Teams, Public Health England, the national Test and Trace system and Environmental Health teams.
Public Health England will work alongside local Directors of Public Health in the local decision-making process to assist with any response to possible further risks in the district and neighbouring authorities.
Actions taken may include additional targeted testing at high risk areas or groups, enhanced communications around the importance of social distancing, hand hygiene and other preventative measures, and detailed epidemiological work to understand where clusters of the virus are occurring.
What do I do if I am feeling unwell?
Do not go to your GP Surgery or any other medical setting. If you are showing symptoms of COVID-19, please self-isolate and, if you need further support, dial 111 to follow NHS guidance. Full details can be found on the NHS website.
If you have difficulty breathing please phone 999 immediately.
If I am feeling unwell, can I be tested?
If you have developed symptoms within the last 72 hours you can be tested (the test is not effective otherwise).
- Symptomatic residents can apply via the NHS website, or by telephoning 119, to either be tested at a regional testing site, mobile testing unit, or receive a home testing kit
- Essential workers can self-refer through the NHS website or employers are able to sign-up and refer staff through the ‘employer referral portal’
- Care homes can request whole-home testing for all residents (irrespective of symptoms) and asymptomatic staff via the Gov.uk website
- Acute hospital patients and staff (including those who are asymptomatic, where indicated by clinical need) will be tested in the hospital setting
If I have to self-isolate, where can I go for support?
The Wokingham Borough Community Response (WBCR) was launched at the start of the pandemic and continues to support you if you need extra help at this time.
One Front Door, led by Citizens Advice Wokingham, is the fastest way to get the help you need as it works closely with Wokingham Borough Council and a range of local voluntary organisations such as the Wokingham Volunteer Centre, First Days, Involve, Link Visiting Scheme, Age UK Berkshire - to name a few. We all came together at the start of the pandemic to create WBCR, a unique support network, and an additional support net to the NHS and social services.
You can contact One Front Door 24/7 via its website, or call the team on 0300 330 1189 Monday to Fridays 9am to 5pm, and Saturday, 9am to 1pm. You can also leave a voicemail out of hours. If you are hard of hearing, you can use the text relay service by calling 03444 111 445.
If I feel my emotional wellbeing is declining, is there someone I can speak to?
Yes, full details of our services are available in the Emotional and mental health section of our website.
Can I still go to work?
No, you should not go into a work setting if you are showing symptoms or if you have been told to self-isolation. However you can work from home if you are able to do so and if you feel well enough.
If you are unable to work, you should inform your employer that you are self-isolating and they will be able to advise you on your pay arrangements.
If you are self-employed, Citizens Advice can advise on the financial support that’s available. Dial 0300 330 1189 (if prompted, enter 0118 978 7258) or contact them via email on email@example.com
You may also be eligible for a Test and Trace support payment of £500 if you have been advised to self-isolate. Find out more on our website.
What should other members of my household do?
If someone within the household is showing symptoms, all members of the household should also self-isolate to minimise the spread of the infection to others. More information on self-isolation can be found on the NHS website.
If someone in my household is showing symptoms, should I still send my child to school?
No. Any member of the same household as the person with symptoms must also self-isolate, including children.
If the household member has developed symptoms within the last 72 hours, they can self-refer for testing through the NHS website.
You should report your child’s self-isolation to the Head Teacher of the school, who will be able to provide further guidance and support in respect of return to school as appropriate.
I am a carer for a vulnerable person, but I am now unable to continue with this, what should I do?
If you feel you are unable to continue to care for a vulnerable person, you should contact Adult Services on the below details:
- New customer to Wokingham Borough Council – Adult Social Care Duty on 0300 3651234
- Existing customer to Wokingham Borough Council – Brokerage and Professional Support Duty on 0118 974 6832
I am concerned about someone who is homeless – what can I do?
Guidance and details of support are available on our website.
I have a business in Wokingham and need help and support. What should I do?
Full guidance and details of support are available on our website.
I have a business in Wokingham, what should I be doing to support Test and Trace?
You can help trace and stop the spread of the virus by displaying a QR code on your premises.
Customers are required to scan the QR codes that are set up in premises which records the individual’s location on the NHS app. You should promote and assist this service with requests for data if needed. This could help contain clusters or outbreaks.
I have a business in Wokingham, where can I find guidance on Covid-19 prevention in the workplace?
Enquiries regarding Covid-19, prevention in the workplace and health and safety can be directed to the Environmental Health service by phoning 01635 503242 (9am to 5pm, seven days per week), or via email on EHadvice@westberks.gov.uk.
Alternatively, you can read further information on the Public Protection Partnership (PPP) website or via this document.
I have a business in Wokingham and suspect I have an outbreak (two or more cases), who do I contact?
Enquiries regarding a suspected case or outbreak of Covid-19 in the workplace can be directed into the Environmental Health service by phoning 01635 503242 (9am to 5pm, seven days per week) or via email on EHadvice@westberks.gov.uk. Alternatively, you can visit the PPP website for more information.
Further guidance and details of support is available from our team. Please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0800 212111.
An employee has tested positive for Covid-19, what should I do?
All confirmed cases of Covid-19 should be reported to the Public Protection Partnership (PPP) Environment Health team. You can contact them by phone on 01635 503242 (9am to 5pm, seven days per week) or email CV19notifications@westberks.gov.uk.
Alternatively, you can email EHadvice@westberks.gov.uk, email@example.com, or visit the PPP website.
Please refer to our dedicated Covid-19 page on our website.
I would like some advice on how to implement a Covid-19 policy – how can I get this?
Full guidance and support is available through the Public Health Team. You can email them on
firstname.lastname@example.org or phone on 0800 212111.
I would like some advice on how to complete a Covid-19 Risk Assessment – where do I find this?
Advice, guidance and a template are available on the PPP website.
Where can I find multilingual advice?
You can find this on the Doctors of the World website.