The guidance regarding what to do if you are notified as being a close contact of someone who has tested positive for Covid-19 and who is not in your household has today been updated.
You can find the guidance here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-for-contacts-of-people-with-possible-or-confirmed-coronavirus-covid-19-infection-who-do-not-live-with-the-person/guidance-for-contacts-of-people-with-possible-or-confirmed-coronavirus-covid-19-infection-who-do-not-live-with-the-person
- If you have been informed by NHS Test and Trace that you are a contact of a person who has had a positive test result for COVID-19, you must stay at home and complete 10 full days isolation. Your isolation period includes the date of your last contact with them and the next ten full days.
- If you develop any of the following symptoms: a new continuous cough, a high temperature, or a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia), you should arrange to have a PCR test for COVID-19, even if your symptoms are mild.
- You can arrange to have a single PCR test whether or not you have symptoms. This is because you are at a higher risk of being infected. The results of the PCR test will help NHS Test and Trace contact people who may have caught the virus from you. They can then self-isolate and avoid passing it on to others.
- You should arrange to have [a PCR] test as soon as possible within your 10 day isolation period, so that NHS Test and Trace can identify the people that you have been in contact with. You can order a home test kit or book an appointment at a test site. To reduce the risk to others you should only use a test site if you are unable to use the home PCR testing service. If you go to a test site, strictly observe social distancing advice and return home immediately afterwards. If you order a home test kit you should use it and return it within 48 hours of receiving it.
- If your test result is positive, follow the advice for people with COVID-19 to stay at home and start a further full 10 day isolation period. This begins from when you took the PCR test, regardless of where you are in your original 10 day isolation period. This means that your total isolation period will be longer than 10 days.
- If you have a negative PCR test result during your 10 day isolation period, you must continue to self-isolate as you could still become infectious and pass the infection onto others. Stay at home for the full 10 days to avoid putting others at risk.
- Your household does not need to self-isolate with you if you do not have symptoms of COVID-19 or have not received a positive PCR test result, but they should take extra care to follow the guidance on how to stop the spread.
Latest R range and growth rate
- The latest R range for England is 1.2 to 1.4. An R value between 1.2 and 1.4 means that, on average, every 10 people infected will infect between 12 and 14 other people.
- The latest growth rate range for England is +3% to +6%. A growth rate of between 3% and 6% means that the number of new infections is growing by between 3% and 6% every day.
- In the North West, the latest R range is 1.3 to 1.5 and the latest growth rate is 4% to 8%.