Track and Trace Update

Track and Trace Update

October 15, 2020

As the number of COVID positive tests continues to increase it is inevitable that pharmacists and their support staff will come into contact with people who subsequently test positive for COVID-19. In our LPC footprint there were 800 positive tests reported last week which was up by 166% on the previous week. There have been a number of communications from PSNC recently about the app, test and trace and what to do if a member of staff tests positive for COVID-19. We thought it would be useful to summarise these for you.


For those pharmacy staff who have downloaded and are using the NHS COVID-19 app, NHSE&I advises healthcare workers to pause the app while working in a healthcare building, such as a hospital or GP surgery or  NHS community pharmacy. The app should also be paused if working behind a fixed Perspex (or equivalent) screen, which is big enough to provide adequate protection.

Further advice on the app for healthcare workers can be found on the NHS website

Positive tests and self-isolation
If a member of your pharmacy team tests positive for coronavirus they should self-isolate for 10 days (from the date the symptoms started), NHS Test and Trace will assess whether other pharmacy staff have been at risk of contracting coronavirus, and whether anybody else should self-isolate. Generally, these assessments are undertaken by the Public Health England (PHE) Local Health Protection Team. If a staff member is contacted by Test and Trace (or goes on to Test and Trace online) and is asked to say or write a list of names of contacts or recent close contacts relating to work in a pharmacy, the staff member should give the name, address and contact details of the pharmacy only and should NOT give the names of pharmacy staff with whom they work. This is to avoid automatic texts informing pharmacy staff that they are (recent close) contacts and must self-isolate for 14 days; once isolation messages have been sent to individuals these are difficult for the Local Health Protection Team to subsequently over-turn, if appropriate.

If you do have to self-isolate staff or close down please let the LPC know by emailing to allow us to assist you with any issues.

Ending self-isolation
If you still have a high temperature after 10 days of the start of your symptoms, keep self-isolating until your temperature returns to normal and seek medical advice. After 10 days, if you just have a cough or a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia), you do not need to continue to self-isolate, this is because a cough or anosmia can last for several weeks once the infection has gone.

Legal requirements for self-isolation
You could be fined between £1,000 to £10,000 if you do not stay at home and self-isolate following a positive test result for COVID-19, or if you are contacted by NHS Test and Trace and instructed to self-isolate because you are a contact of someone who has had a positive test result. These regulations will only apply in England.

You may find the following posters useful about turning the NHS app on/off and also what makes a contact:
COVID app instruction poster arriving
COVID app instruction poster leaving
Contact posters

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