If an individual has a positive COVID-19 test the NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect service will make contact by telephone. The individual will be asked where they have been recently and anyone they have had close contact with, what symptoms they had and the date symptoms started.
To streamline the process, the new digital contact tracing system, based on a sophisticated Customer Relationship Management database, allows people who have had a positive test for COVID-19 to enter details of close contacts on a web-form.
The tracing service will then get in touch with close contacts and they will be asked to self-isolate for 14 days as a precaution to prevent the virus spreading further.
During self-isolation daily monitoring of close contacts is managed through the contact tracing system. Depending on individual choice, monitoring can be via text message or a personal call from an advisor. Email and automated phone monitoring services will be introduced shortly to expand the monitoring options.
All information is fed back directly into the contact tracing system with alerts flagged for people who are not feeling well.
This essential new system is the result of a rapid development led by the NHS Wales Informatics Service, working collaboratively with Welsh Government, Public Health Wales, seven health boards and 22 local authorities.
Helen Thomas, Interim Director of the NHS Wales Informatics Service, said: “This was a phenomenal piece of work by all involved, achieved in very short timescales – 40 days from start to finish. We now have the technology base needed for a robust scalable national response to contact tracing.”
How does contact tracing work?
More information on contact tracing and how it works is available here.
Anyone with symptoms of the virus can apply for a home test kit or make an appointment at a drive-through test centre, either by calling 119 or asking for a test online.