Close contacts to be offered COVID-19 testing

People who have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for Covid-19 are now being asked to get tested.

The Scottish Government announced that the measure is designed to find asymptomatic coronavirus cases that would otherwise go undetected, as close contacts are at higher risk than the wider population, given their exposure to somebody with COVID-19.

Previously, outbreak Incident Management Teams (IMTs) have had the ability to order testing of close contacts on a case-by-case basis, in line with local assessment of clinical risk.

Now everyone who has been identified as a close contact via the Protect Scotland app, or through manual contact tracing, will be provided with instructions on how to book a PCR test.

The approach does not replace self-isolation in any way, and close contacts who test negative will still have to complete 10 days of self-isolation, as the virus’ incubation period means the risk of developing COVID-19 is only significantly reduced 10 days after exposure.

This means anyone leaving self-isolation early could still inadvertently infect others if they become positive at a later date.

Close contacts who test positive will be asked to self-isolate for a further 10 days from the time of their test result, to ensure they are no longer infectious when they leave self-isolation.

REHIS is a registered charity in Scotland, SC009406

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