Southampton Test and Trace

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What is the Southampton Test and Trace Service?  

Southampton Test and Trace aims to keep residents in Southampton safe in the following ways:

1. Preventing the spread of COVID-19 infection in the city:

  • Increasing the proportion of Southampton residents that are successfully contacted where they have tested positive
  • Reinforcing the message to residents that have tested positive that they should continue to self-isolate and to identify people that they may have been in close contact with, so that they can then be advised to self-isolate

2. Protecting vulnerable residents:

  • Identifying individuals and families that require support to self-isolate, including those who are vulnerable. This includes providing advice, facilitating a direct connection to the Southampton City Council resident helpline with no wait time and organising the support required such as, directing them to other services

3. Helping identify where higher levels of spread of infection may be taking place so that preventative action can be taken:

  • Identifying which settings and places positive COVID-19 cases have been present in the seven days prior to becoming symptomatic and monitoring any patterns. This includes taking action to reduce the spread of COVID-19 infection in these setting through community engagement work

Why is there a Southampton Test and Trace Service?  

  • Learning from other Local Authorities suggests that a local service can contribute to a higher proportion of residents that test positive for COVID-19 being contacted, by contacting those residents that the national service has been unable to contact after 32 hours. Importantly, the local service will use an 023 number, which residents are more likely to answer
  • Increasing the proportion of Southampton residents that are successfully contacted within as short a timeframe as possible is critical to the success of a Test and Trace system. By helping to identify residents in need of support and securing support for them, it also aims to protect those residents that are vulnerable

When will Southampton Test and Trace Launch?  

  • A pilot service will be in operation from December 2020, which will target Southampton wards covering approximately a third of the city. If, after a month, the pilot demonstrates effectiveness, the service will be scaled up to provide a whole-city service

How will Southampton Test and Trace work?  

  • The national NHS Test and Trace service has been operational since 28 May 2020. The testing arm of this service aims to provide rapid access to a test for anyone who develops symptoms of COVID-19, whilst the tracing arm aims to identify close contacts of anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 and, if necessary, notifies them that they must self-isolate at home to help stop the spread of the virus
  • If the national service is unable to contact cases within 32 hours, they are handed over to Southampton Test and Trace to follow up
  • Southampton Test and Trace call handlers will work alongside Southampton Primary Care Limited who have extensive experience in contact tracing
  • Call handers will provide residents with advice on the self-isolation guidance, identify who they may have been in close contact with so that the close contacts can also be advised to self-isolate, and will help residents access support where they need it to be able to self-isolate. In this way, the service will play an important role in contacting residents that may be vulnerable and ensuring their needs are met

How will I be contacted by Southampton Test and Trace?  

  • Southampton residents that test positive for COVID-19 will be called by the Southampton Test and Trace team on the dedicated number 023 8212 8701. If you receive a call from this number, please answer the phone. The number will show up as a missed call and residents can then call back and talk to a call handler. Residents may also receive an email and a text message from SotonCC, or an email from SouthamptonTest&Trace@southampton.gov.uk asking people to call 023 8212 8701, where the national Test and Trace team have been unable to make contact. Community engagement leads are also in place to contact people on their doorstep socially distanced where they cannot be contacted by phone or email

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For more information about the Southampton Local Test and Trace Service please get in touch on SouthamptonTest&Trace@southampton.gov.uk