From Monday, 9 November 2020, Hounslow Council will take on a greater role in testing and tracing locally, to help stop the spread of COVID-19, save lives and protect the NHS.
Published: Monday, 9th November 2020
In partnership with Public Health England and the NHS Test and Trace Programme, the Council has developed and launched the system which will see council staff support the efforts to locate people who have come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
The nationwide Test and Trace programme is designed to help limit the spread of the virus. It contacts people who have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and asks them to self-isolate for 14 days from the date they were last with the infected person.
But gaps have been identified in the system, with only about two-thirds of those who need to be contacted being reached. The new localised, One Hounslow approach aims to improve this, by helping the NHS and getting in touch with the other third.
Hounslow Council staff will be supporting the national service and contacting local people with a positive COVID-19 test to talk to them about support and self-isolation. Public health officials will offer support, advice and guidance to residents and draw on local data, insights and an understanding of the Hounslow community, to connect with local residents.
Cllr Candice Atterton, Cabinet Member for Adults, Social Care and Health, said:
"This new service is vital to protect the NHS and save lives in Hounslow. Contact tracing is an important part of the strategy to get COVID-19 under control. Before now, a lack of local authority involvement has meant significant gaps in the scheme, and Government recognition of the importance of local connections and expertise is overdue.
"Residents will be given advice and guidance to help them self-isolate. They will be asked if Hounslow Community Hub can help, such as with food deliveries, collecting medication or debt advice.
"It is more important than ever that we all play our part to limit the spread of the virus throughout our communities and to save lives. That includes helping us with contact tracing. We need people to answer when we call. We need people to get a test if they have any symptoms and to self-isolate if they test positive or are contacted by a contact tracer."
All test and trace data is managed in line with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and will not be used for any other purpose.