Contact tracing for coronavirus (COVID-19)
As soon as an individual returns a positive result for COVID-19, just like with other contagious viruses such as measles, we undertake what is called contact tracing to prevent the infection spreading further through the community.
As part of this process, we speak to the patient to identify anyone who might have had close contact with them during their infectious window.
If there are people who are considered as close contacts, who are at a higher risk, our staff follow up with them directly. If they begin showing symptoms, we assess them faster and take the right action.
If we can’t identify people who could have been in close contact with a confirmed case, we will issue a public health alert with specific dates, times and locations that the public should be aware of. Only people who match the exact criteria provided need to contact us.
Close contacts are those who have had face-to-face contact with a confirmed case for a period more than 15 minutes, or those who have shared an enclosed space with a confirmed case for more than two hours.
We are not looking for people the person may have passed on the street or in a shop, as the risk in these situations is extremely low.
If you have been in close contact with someone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19 you need to self-quarantine for 14 days from your last contact with them. If you become unwell during that period, see a doctor immediately.