Contact tracing measures (FOI)
Contact tracing measures (FOI) Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 26 July 2022.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
Please state whether the contact tracing, data capture and other surveillance methods employed by the government and its agents as part of the government's Covid response, have been terminated or taken off-line.
Would you also specify which data capture and/or surveillance methods remain in operation. Why they remain in use?
The Government of Jersey does not currently undertake person-led Contact Tracing for people who are Covid-19 positive – the Covid Safe Team no longer collect information or personal data about Close Contacts during the phone calls with positive individuals, and the Covid Safe Team do not contact individuals who may be Close Contacts of a positive person. Since 6 February 2022 individuals have been encouraged to inform their own Close Contacts that they have recently tested positive.
A number of individuals choose to use the Covid Alert App. This uses underlying software on smartphones created by Google and Apple, with cryptography to prevent an individual who receives an exposure notification from knowing which device generated it, and vice versa. The Government of Jersey previously recorded the telephone number of someone who received an exposure notification, but only if that person voluntarily chose to send this to us. However, we no longer have this functionality and therefore this information is no longer collected.
Free PCR testing is offered for individuals who are symptomatic or have a positive lateral flow test in order to confirm whether they have Covid-19. Free PCR testing is also used to screen individuals who are entering or working in high-risk environments such as health, care, prison and emergency services, and includes anyone being admitted to hospital. This is to manage risk and protect our most vulnerable Islanders and critical services. The identification of positive cases also aids understanding of the current pattern and number of cases on the island.
The Government of Jersey processes personal data when individuals register for LFTs, submit an LFT result or book a PCR test, and when the PCR result is released. Further data is processed when the Covid Safe Team have a telephone conversation with a positive individual, this includes identity and contact details (to ensure we are speaking to the correct person and notifications are being sent to the correct place), Covid symptoms, and whether the individual is living with other positive individuals and / or people who are under 18. The individual's recent travel history is requested, as well as their work location and details of any large events attended. These questions help to identify Covid case clusters within local businesses and schools.
From 29 April 2022, isolation has no longer been subject to legal penalties. Therefore, there is no requirement to monitor adherence to isolation for the purposes of legal enforcement. The Covid Safe team telephone positive individuals six days after their positive test result, to undertake a welfare check and to ascertain whether they are testing positive or negative on LFTs. Individuals are also asked whether they are still isolating; this information helps us to understand the length of time that individuals continue to test positive and the number of people who choose not to isolate; this informs our assessment of Covid risk, helps us understand the disease and contributes to ongoing policy review.
The aim of all of the measures identified above is to help keep Islanders safe, critical services operating and businesses open by minimising the amount and impact of ill health and sickness due to Covid-19.