Wokingham Borough Council will continue to support self-isolating residents, despite the changes to national rules from 16 August. This follows the delivery of a comprehensive Track and Trace programme over the last seven months, where the council has supported residents to stay home and curb the spread of Covid-19.
The Councils Track and Trace programme has involved calling residents who tested positive and informing them that they needed to self-isolate, calling again 3-days into their self-isolation period to check in, and calling any close contacts of positive cases. In total, 3,907 residents were required to self-isolate from 25 January to 30 July, with 3,364 successful calls made to these individuals.
Where the council was unable to reach residents who had tested positive by phone, visits were made to check these individuals were ok and direct them to organisations in the borough if they required further support.
Cllr Charles Margetts executive member for health, wellbeing, and adult social care said: “We are proud to be delivering such an effective and dynamic Track and Trace programme. All staff members involved have done their best to ensure residents have followed the self-isolation rules, had access to the right support, and informed us of any close contacts so that they can self-isolate too.”
Any residents who require further support have been introduced and referred to One Front Door, led by Citizens Advice Wokingham. In total, 314 referrals have been made to the service, which was set-up at the start of the pandemic to support residents and brings together organisations such as local foodbanks, Berkshire Women’s Aid, and the Link Visiting Scheme.
These organisations have helped residents with activities such as prescription collection, food shopping, social contact, support and advice on debt, redundancy, and employment; and this will continue even after the self-isolation rules relax on 16 August. Residents can refer themselves or somebody they know on One Front Door’s website alternatively they can call 0800 278 7958 for help and advice.
With the rules around self-isolation changing from 16 August, fully vaccinated people (who are 2 weeks from their second dose) and under 18s will not be required to self-isolate if a close contact tests positive for Covid-19. They will, however, be encouraged to take a PCR test and isolate if they receive a positive result.
Anyone who isn’t fully vaccinated will still need to self-isolate if they are a close contact of a positive case, and if they test positive themselves.
Cllr Charles Margetts continues: “As the rules change, we will continue to do the best we can to ensure that all those who need to self-isolate do so, to ensure that we are doing our bit to help stop the spread of the virus.”
As the new rules come into effect, the Council’s responsibilities remain the same. Staff will still be on hand to support self-isolating residents, as well as close contacts who aren’t fully vaccinated. Door knocking will continue for positive cases who cannot be reached by phone.
For further information on how Wokingham Borough Council is responding to the pandemic visit the Covid-19 hub on its website.