THE importance of testing and contact tracing in limiting the spread of infection has been highlighted by the Public Health Authority (PHA).
This comes as the North progresses through the coronavirus recovery plan, with the aim of reminding the public of the important role everyone has to play in minimising the risk of a second wave of infection.
The campaign which encourages people with possible Covid symptoms to be tested has been welcomed by health minister Robin Swann. He said everyone has a role to play.
“Test, Trace and Protect is an essential part of the battle against Covid-19. It will help keep people safe and protect our health service.”
Dr Gerry Waldron, Head of Health Protection at the PHA, explained, “Testing and contact tracing will help break the chain of transmission of this virus. By identifying people who have been in close contact with someone who’s tested positive for coronavirus, and asking them to self-isolate, we can limit the onward spread of the virus, allowing us to continue moving towards more normal family, working, and social lives.
“It can help in enabling friends and family to see each other, and schools and businesses can continue to reopen. It will also help to protect our health service from being overwhelmed from a surge in cases.”
Testing is free and there are a number of ways a person can get tested: booking a test online for one of the drive through or mobile testing units, ordering a postal self-test kit online, calling the free phone number 119 if you can’t get online.
Health officials say that a person should stay at home while waiting for a test appointment and the result of the test. The testing programme aims to provide results within 48 hours. If a person receives a positive test result they will be contacted by the PHA’s Contact Tracing Service to help identify anyone the person has been in close contact with who may be a risk of getting COVID-19.
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