WARRINGTON Borough Council says it will be conducting house visits where necessary to help with local coronavirus contact tracing scheme.

The national test and trace programme aims to contact people who have tested positive for Covid-19 or those defined as having been a ‘close contact’ to someone who has tested positive.

Recent figures show that the national programme has managed to reach eight out of 10 Warrington residents who have tested positive for coronavirus.

Those cases that the national test and trace service has been unable to reach, however, are passed on to councils for them to follow up locally to gather test and trace information and to offer support.

Warrington Guardian:

Although council officers have been working to contact trace people locally since September, a new and dedicated team of call handlers is now operating seven days a week to rapidly trace even more residents.

Residents with mobile numbers will receive a text to notify them that a contact tracer will be getting in touch.

For those who the council are still unable to contact locally through the call handlers, officers will be following up with house-to-house outdoor visits.

The purpose of these visits will be to ensure that those self-isolating have the support they need to remain at home, given that it is against the law not to stay at home if you have been instructed to self-isolate.

Door knocking will commence from tomorrow, Thursday, and officers undertaking house-to-house visits will clearly display valid council identification.

Officers have also received infection control training to ensure that any outdoor house visits are conducted safely.

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If the council contacts you either by phone or house visit, it will never ask you to dial a premium rate number, make any payment, or ask for bank details, login details, passwords or personal medical information.

It will also never provide medical advice, ask you to download any software or try to enter your property.

Cllr Maureen McLaughlin, cabinet member for public health, said: “If you have been instructed to self-isolate, this means you cannot leave home at all – even going out for exercise or shopping for essentials is not allowed.

“However, through our local contact tracing work, we will ensure that those who have been instructed to self-isolate have the support and guidance they need to remain at home.

“As part of this commitment, we are working with Warrington Voluntary Action and other local organisations to provide practical advice and support or help with food, medication and other essentials for those who are self-isolating and cannot therefore leave home.

“Self-isolating if you have symptoms, have tested positive for coronavirus or have been alerted to do so by test and trace is an absolutely vital part of reducing the virus’ transmission – put simply, it will save lives.”