Contact tracing allows us to identify those that are at the highest risk of catching the virus from a person who has been confirmed as having COVID-19 through a positive PCR test.
Contact tracing starts with a positive PCR test
The contact tracing process only starts when there has been a laboratory confirmed case of COVID-19 established through a positive PCR test.
Only at the point that a PCR test comes back positive for COVID-19 does the contact tracing process begin.
On confirmation of a COVID-19 positive PCR result
If a COVID-19 positive PCR test is confirmed the contact tracing team will let the individual know their result as soon as possible, usually by SMS text message or email.
The contact tracing team will then have a number of conversations with the individual over the coming days to establish as complete a picture as possible of people that they may have come into close contact with during the active stage of their infection.
If a child or minor tests positive the contact tracing team will speak to their responsible adult, usually a parent.
An active COVID-19 positive person is usually infectious up to 72 hours prior to the start of any of their COVID-19 symptoms. For individuals who are asymptomatic (for instance, they experience no symptoms), the contagious period is taken to be approximately 72 hours prior to the date of their positive test results and up to 14 days after their test.
Contact tracers may assess a slightly longer time period on a case by case basis, for example with asymptomatic patients or because of the antibody results of an individual.
Contact tracers will ask those that have tested positive who they met up to 3 days before testing positive or at the start of their symptoms.
Direct contacts and indirect contacts
Contact tracers do not reveal the identity of the person who has tested positive without their full consent.
Through the contact tracing process, the intention is to identify everyone who may have spent more than 15 minutes (inside or outside) within 2 metres or less, or had direct physical contact without personal protective equipment, with an individual who is currently an active positive person.
If you're a direct contact of a positive case, the contract tracing team will contact you by text message, email or phone to tell you you’re a direct contact and to book PCR tests at an appropriate frequency.
Informing direct contacts
If you are aged over 18 and have been identified as a direct contact you will receive an SMS message informing you of this. You will receive notification of a PCR test date and time by text message, email or phone call.
If you think you're a direct contact
If you've been identified as a direct contact, you'll be contacted by the Covid Safe team within 72 hours by text message, email or phone. You do not need to isolate whilst waiting for this contact.
If you think you're a direct contact and haven't been contacted, this could mean the person that has tested positive for COVID-19 is unlikely to have identified you as a direct contact.
A confirmed positive case within the workplace, school or other setting
If an individual within a workplace, school or other setting is confirmed with a positive PCR test then the COVID Safe team will take the necessary action. It is important that you let the team carry out their work.
Through conversations with the positive individual the COVID Safe team will determine who are their direct and indirect contacts during their infectious stage.
The COVID Safe team will contact all those that have been identified as direct contacts and provide PCR testing dates and times.
More information for parents and students about contact tracing in education settings
Reduce the number of direct contacts you have
While COVID-19 is still with us, you should continue keeping a smaller social circle than usual. The fewer interactions you have, the less likely you are to be identified as a direct contact.
You're advised to keep a record of times and dates of everyone you come into contact with (this could be in a work or social setting), should this be required at a later date for contact tracing purposes.
Employers should consider the implications of the contact tracing process on their business continuity. The smaller the number of direct contacts that all employees have, then then smaller the risk of the spread of the disease and the smaller the impact on staffing levels, should there be a confirmed case with in their work setting.
If all staff retain a 2 metre distance or only pass briefly within 2 metres (for less than 15 minutes) and there is a confirmed positive case within the workplace then the COVID Safe team would not usually assess anyone as a direct contact and would not need to contact other staff members and ask them to isolate.
Collecting contact information
It's important that officers with responsibility for contact tracing have access to information that enables them to quickly identify and contact individuals who may have come into direct contact with an infected person.
For this reason, individuals are encouraged to keep a record of times and dates of everyone they come into contact with (this could be in a work or social setting).
In addition, those operating businesses, organisations and activities where this may happen are asked, where practicable, to keep a record of people who are using their services or who attend gatherings.
Advice for businesses: collecting contact information
Further information is available to support business in doing this from the
Office of the Information Commissioner.
Posters for contact tracing
Contact tracing poster for print
Contact tracing poster for print with bleeds
Contact tracing A3 poster for print
Contact tracing A3 poster for print with bleeds
Contact tracing poster for print Polish
Contact tracing poster for print with bleed Polish
Contact tracing poster for print Portuguese
Contact tracing poster for print with bleed Portuguese
Contact tracing poster for print Romanian
Contact tracing poster for print with bleed Romanian
The Government of Jersey has an important and vital obligation to protect the ongoing health of Jersey's general public and undertake measures to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). The Government may need to request information about you from others, for example when you may have come in to contact with someone who has the virus or where we have no other means of contacting you.
Government of Jersey Coronavirus (COVID-19) privacy notice provides details about how this information will be collected, stored and shared in respect to data protection legislation.
Additional information is available from the
Jersey Office of the Information Commissioner which has published a statement of data protection and coronavirus.