Bridgend County Borough Council has set up a team to undertake contact tracing in the local area as part of Welsh Government’s Test, Trace, Protect strategy.
The team which consists of existing local authority staff are undergoing training in preparation for the programme’s launch in June.
Staff are working alongside colleagues from the other local authorities in Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board, Public Health Wales and Welsh Government to deliver the programme.
Test, Trace, Protect will work by:
- Identifying those who have symptoms consistent with Covid-19, enabling them to be tested while isolating from wider family, friends and their community.
- Tracing those individuals who have been in close contact with the symptomatic person, requiring them to take precautions and self-isolate (for 14 days).
- Providing advice and guidance, particularly where the symptomatic individual or their contacts are vulnerable or at greater risk.
- Ensuring that if the individual tests negative and the symptoms are not due to coronavirus, individuals and their contacts can get back to their normal routines as soon as possible.
As lockdown restrictions are gradually eased, each and every one of us will need to take steps to protect ourselves, our families and our communities if we are to successfully limit the spread of the disease. In Wales, there is a three-tiered approach to the Test, Trace, Protect strategy – at national, regional (based on the health board footprint), and local (the local authority area). Within a very short space of time we have managed to identify current Bridgend County Borough Council staff who can move into the local team.
Bridgend County Borough Council, via the Shared Regulatory Services (SRS), is also contributing to the regional team and a small pilot has started this week. SRS is also supporting the local teams with specialist advice. Depending on the public engagement in this process we may need to reduce or increase our local teams.
While we have been able to use current staff for this phase we are likely to need to recruit if additional staff are needed. This is a rapidly-moving project – we will keep residents updated with any changes as the programme develops.Council leader Huw David
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