Local Test and Trace support

Local Test and Trace Support

Kingston Council’s local test and trace service will support NHS Test and Trace in the borough. The new team will start work in November 2020 and will play an important role in helping to Keep Kingston Safe by making vital contact with people who have tested positive for coronavirus and providing information to these residents.

What is the new service?

The Keep Kingston Safe Test and Trace team will supplement the work of NHS Test and Trace. If NHS Test and Trace have failed to reach somebody who has tested positive for coronavirus, the Kingston team will make contact to gather details of their close contacts. The team will try to get in touch over email, text and phone. If this is unsuccessful they will visit the home of the person who has tested positive.

Why is it needed?

It is vital we collect the contacts of every person who tests positive for coronavirus, to ensure that people who may have the virus self-isolate to stop the spread in Kingston. The local test and trace team, working to support NHS Test and Trace, will mean that more local people will be contacted, and it will help to prevent outbreaks of coronavirus in our borough.

How the service can help you

We want to help people do their civic duty and self-isolate if required to do so to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Kingston. Our contact tracers will be able to give you the information you need about any support you are entitled to, such as statutory sick pay or support if you are on a low income.

They can also help link you to the Kingston Stronger Together Hub if you need help with shopping or medicine collection while self-isolating and don’t have family, friends or trusted neighbours to help you. If you are feeling isolated or lonely you can you can get support through the hub's buddy system. Details of how to request this help is available here.

When will the local test and trace team contact me?

Our contact tracers will contact you if you have tested positive for coronavirus, and NHS Test and Trace have been unable to get in touch with you. The flowchart below shows when and how our local contact tracing team will support NHS Test and Trace.

Flowchart on a blue background showing the journey that involves Kingston Contact Tracing being brought in. It shows that if NHS test and trace cannot get into contact with somebody who has tested positive for coronavirus,  their details will be passed onto Kingston's test and trace service. They will then try and make contact with the person, first over email, then telephone, then by visiting their homes. The person will then share details of their close contacts with the team.

What can I do to help?

We all have a part to play to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in Kingston, and co-operating with NHS Test and Trace is an important part of that. If you receive a call, email or text from NHS Test and Trace it is important that you respond. If our contact tracers get in touch with you, it is important that you share details of your close contacts with them.

How do I know if the person asking me for details is really from the council?

Our contact tracers will always carry an official Council ID badge and will always show this to you before asking for any information. Our Kingston contact tracers will never ask you for any financial or immigration information - their job is to help Keep Kingston Safe by identifying contacts and sharing helpful information to stop coronavirus from spreading further in our community.

What information will they hold?

We are committed to protecting resident’s personal data and will ensure that it is processed fairly and lawfully. Personal details of people that test positive for COVID-19 (coronavirus) will be shared confidentially with Kingston Council to undertake this work. We will check this information against local databases to see if we have alternative phone numbers to contact people before a member of staff is sent to visit someone at home. Information provided to Kingston Local Test and Trace will be reported back to NHS Test and Trace for them to identify and follow up with anyone around people with COVID-19 that also need to self-isolate. Data will be held and processed in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018) and subsequent legislation.