Dorset residents with any symptoms of coronavirus are being encouraged to use the new NHS Test and Trace service.

The new NHS Test and Trace system launched yesterday across England, and Public Health Dorset has joined the 25,000-strong contact tracing team which has the capacity to trace contacts of up to 10,000 people who test positive per day.

NHS Test and Trace will identify those who have had close contact with people who have tested positive for coronavirus, helping to reduce the spread of the virus and save lives.

Sam Crowe, Director of Public Health at Dorset and Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Councils, said:

“As lockdown restrictions begin to ease gradually, it’s important to recognise we all need to take responsibility for controlling the spread of coronavirus. Alongside continuing effective social distancing, the NHS Test and Trace service will be key for us to contain local cases and prevent a second peak in infections.

“The instruction is clear: if you have symptoms of coronavirus, self-isolate, get tested and share your contacts with NHS Test and Trace. We’re grateful for the role our communities have played so far in following the rules and limiting the spread of COVID-19 in Dorset, so we’re urging local people to keep this up by using this new service and following any advice they are given.”


What to do if you have coronavirus symptoms:

  1. Isolate: As soon as you develop symptoms – a new, continuous cough OR a high fever OR a loss/change of taste or smell – you should self-isolate. Stay at home for 7 days, and anyone else in your household should stay home for 14 days.
  2. Test: Book a test online at or call 119 if you have no internet access. Anyone with symptoms can book a test, now including children under 5.
  3. Results: If your test is positive, you and your household need to complete your period of isolation. If it’s negative, you can all end your isolation.
  4. Share contacts: If your test is positive, the NHS Test and Trace service will contact you by text, email or phone to give you instructions on sharing details of places you’ve been and who you’ve been in close contact with so they can be given advice on what to do.


What to do if you’re identified as a close contact of a positive case:

  1. Alert: You will be contacted by NHS Track and Trace by text, email or phone call, and you’ll be told what you need to do to communicate with the service.
  2. Isolate: You’ll be told to stay at home and self-isolate for 14 days from your last contact with the person who tested positive, even if you currently feel well, to avoid unknowingly spreading the virus. Other members of your household don’t need to self-isolate unless you have symptoms, but they should take extra care with handwashing, social distancing and avoiding contact with you.
  3. Test if needed: If you develop symptoms, other members of your household should self-isolate immediately for 14 days. You should book a test – if it’s positive, you should stay home for 7 days and you will need to follow the process for identifying contacts. If it is negative, you must still complete your 14-day self-isolation period because the virus may not be detectable yet.

Dorset Echo: