NHS Test and Trace programme
Follow this advice if you’re told by the NHS Test and Trace service that you’ve been in contact with a person who has coronavirus (COVID-19).
Stay at home for 14 days
If you’re told you’ve been in contact with a person who has coronavirus:
- Stay at home (self-isolate) for 14 days from the day you were last in contact with the person – it can take up to 14 days for symptoms to appear
- Do not leave your home for any reason – if you need food or medicine, order it online or by phone, or ask friends and family to drop it off at your home
- Do not have visitors in your home, including friends and family – except for essential care
- Try to avoid contact with anyone you live with as much as possible
- People you live with do not need to self-isolate if you do not have symptoms If you live with someone at higher risk from coronavirus, try to arrange for them to stay with friends or family for 14 days. If you have to stay in the same home together, read about how to avoid spreading coronavirus to people you live with.
There are now two types of coronavirus test:
- A swab test (antigen test or PCR test): to test if you currently have coronavirus
- An antibody test: to see if you have previously had it
To find out more read this handy guide to the different type of tests.
An antibody test can tell you whether you have had coronavirus or not, but not about any level of protection or immunity from getting the virus again. If you have a positive result, it does not mean that you are immune from getting the virus again, so social distancing measures must still be followed. It will give scientists and the government a better understanding of the spread of the virus.
The antibody test involves a blood test which is taken by a medical professional.
Across Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, antibody testing is being introduced in a phased approach, starting with NHS and care home staff and inpatients. The initial number of tests available will be limited but this will be increased in the coming weeks, at which point the test will be offered to more people.
Antibody testing is currently not available from your local GP. However, clinicians will also be able to request the tests for patients in both hospital and social care settings if they think it’s appropriate.
While the results of an antibody test will not allow people to make any changes to their behaviour, such as easing social distancing measures, there’s clear value in knowing whether NHS and care workers and hospital patients and care home residents have had the virus, and in collecting data on the test results.
Click here for more information about the government’s coronavirus antibody testing programme.