03 December 2020
Islanders are being advised about what to do if they are concerned that they have been in contact with a COVID-19 case due to an increase in the numbers of people contacting the helpline.
If anyone suspects they have been in contact with someone who has tested positive, they should:
- Isolate within their household, other household members do not need to
- Not call the helpline
- Wait 24 hours to receive confirmation from the Contact Tracing team (if no confirmation is received, resume normal activity)
If an Islander does not receive any form of contact within 24 hours of finding out someone they know is positive, they're unlikely to be a direct contact and should resume normal activity, following general public health measures.
If an Islander receives a message or is notified of an exposure on the Jersey COVID Alert App, they need to immediately isolate, call the helpline and await contact from the Contact Tracing team. The 24 hour rule does not apply.
Islanders should only call the helpline when:
- They have COVID-19 symptoms
- They are isolating and don’t have access to support with practical needs like food shopping
- They need support with other wellbeing needs
Islanders should NOT call the helpline when:
- They believe they are a direct contact having heard someone they know is positive
- Chasing a test result if less than 48 hours have passed
Direct contacts will be sent an automated email or SMS message from the Contact Tracing team before receiving a call.
Lead of the Contact Tracing team Caroline Maffia said: “There has been a significant increase in calls to the helpline and to the contact tracing team regarding concerns of being direct contacts of positive cases.
“If you think you might be a direct contact of a positive case, isolate immediately and please wait to receive a call from our team who will be in contact as soon as possible.
“With Islanders calling the helpline after effectively self- diagnosing themselves as direct contacts, it slows down our entire operation, how effectively we can help those in real need and impacts the contact tracing teams capacity to quickly ascertain direct contacts.
“The high call demand leads to long waiting times and people sometimes being unable to get through. This is not what we want to be seeing. Islanders should only call the helpline if they are symptomatic or need support while isolating.
“It is the job of the contact tracing team to identify direct contacts after extensive conversations with positive individuals. As a reminder, a direct contact is only established if they have spent 15 minutes or more within 2 metres of a positive case.
“Please be responsible. We know people are worried, but we ask people to maintain public health guidelines and isolate only in the case that you have been in close proximity, for an extended amount of time, with a positive case. We still encourage the use of the COVID Alert App and to input your mobile phone number for us to contact you when alerted.”
If you are identified as a direct contact you will be notified by the Contact Tracing team within 24 hours between the hours of 8am and 8pm.
Information on Connect Me support services.