Health chiefs have been sharing how the Scottish Government’s test and protect strategy will work in Tayside.
The health board has begun to phase in its system, starting with vulnerable people in prisons and hostels.
Under the system – previously known as Test, Trace, Isolate and Support – individuals testing positive for Covid-19 after showing symptoms will be asked to self-isolate for seven days while those without symptoms will go into quarantine for 14, as per the current health guidance.
Contact tracing teams will interview individuals about their case and their contacts and will offer health advice. It is expected the process will take up to four hours.
The team will ask those individuals to share the names of those they have been in close contact with during the relevant period.
They will initially contact trace only those who have positive results and will not test asymptomatic contacts.
Those with no symptoms will still be asked to self-isolate for a fortnight.
The health board is warning people may have to prepare to self-isolate on multiple occasions.
The tracing team will contact trace back to 48 hours before the onset of symptoms – a persistent cough, high temperature, or loss of smell – and up to seven days after they began.
Those in charge of the Tayside plan estimate each positive case will have had around four contacts during the current strict physical distancing measures.
Tracing teams believe that number could increase “by a factor of seven” once measures are eased.
NHS Tayside published the report ‘Test, Trace, Isolate, Support – A Public Health Intervention: Local Service Plan for the Reintroduction of Contact Tracing’ on Thursday morning.
The scheme has subsequently been renamed Test and Protect.
The report said contact tracing is an “effective evidence based means of halting the chain of infectious disease transmission, which will be critical as lockdown measures are eased in order to prevent a second peak in Covid-19 cases, Covid-19 related hospital and intensive care admissions, and fatalities.”
It went on: “In practice, TTIS means a wider testing strategy – rapidly testing more people with symptoms consistent with Covid-19 infection, with prompt identification and isolation of individuals who have been exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 case in order to identify possible secondary cases and to intervene and prevent onwards transmission to others.”
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