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.
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 Orkney has reminded 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.
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.
NHS Orkney has encouraged people to stick with it over the coming weeks and months to protect themselves, their loved ones and keep their community safe.
Louise Wilson, Director of Public Health from NHS Orkney 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.
To improve access for testing for our population NHS Orkney has set up a dedicated helpline for people to use to book a test – 01856 888211. The service is open Monday to Friday from 9.30am to 7pm and Saturday from 9.30am to 12pm. By offering local tests NHS Orkney is able to provide a more rapid response.
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.
To reduce the risk of catching or spreading coronavirus, or being asked to isolate, remember FACTS – face coverings, avoid crowded places, clean hands and surfaces regularly, two-metre physical distancing and self-isolate and book a test immediately if you have coronavirus symptoms.