Coronavirus (COVID-19) latest information

Information about Contact Tracing

Contact tracing involves identifying and contacting anyone who has been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. These contacts are then given advice about what action they should take to self-isolate and prevent further infection spread. In Cumbria we have developed a local approach to contact tracing to work alongside the national NHS Test and Trace system.

People should call NHS Test and Trace on 119 if they develop COVID-19 symptoms. 

  • high temperature - this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back 
  • new, continuous cough (New: means a cough they've not had before, or if they usually have a cough, it has got worse, Continuous: means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours)
  • loss or change to your sense of smell or taste 

OR

  • They are informed they have tested positive for COVID-19.

The general public cannot contact the local Cumbria contact tracing team directly.

We understand that it can be difficult to navigate all of the information and to be clear about next steps. For further information about Covid-19 please navigate to the NHS website.

Cumbria's contact tracing team involves professionals from Cumbria County Council, District Councils and the local NHS. The people involved have experience in contact tracing.

The national NHS Test and Trace system operates across three tiers. At Tier 3 people who have COVID-19 symptoms call 119 and they will be offered initial advice to self-isolate and to access testing. 

Positive cases will then be escalated to Tier 2, which is a team of 3000 clinical and public health trained contact tracers, who will follow up positive cases, identify contacts, and get in touch with contacts to advise them to self-isolate as well. Tier 2 will also identify where cases and contacts may be particularly complex or have particularly important consequences.

These will be escalated to Tier 1 for further response and outbreak control. Tier 1 combines Regional Public Health England teams and Cumbria's local contact tracing team.

Any situations which are escalated from NHS Test and Trace (Tier 2) to the local system (Tier 1) will be triaged by a joint Incident Management Hub to determine the appropriate course of action based on the specific circumstances. This will involve contact tracing and advising individuals, but may also result in decisions to temporarily close, or partially close buildings, such as schools or health care settings, that are experiencing outbreaks.

It will also be possible for schools, care homes and health care settings to report outbreaks, or suspected outbreaks, direct to the local team for action, without going through the NHS Test and Trace system.

All activity will be managed via a central online system that has been developed for use by the local partners involved. 

An outbreak is defined as an incident in which two or more people experiencing COVID-19 are linked in time or place.

The public are also being warned to be aware of scams, where people claiming to be contact tracers ask for payments or personal details while claiming an individual has had contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case. Frequently these are happening via social media.

If people are contacted by genuine contact tracers this will happen by phone or email. The contact tracer will identify themselves and the organisation they work for. If a caller claims to be from NHS Test and Trace and people are suspicious they can verify a call is genuine by hanging up and calling 119 themselves. If the caller is from a local council or the local NHS, this organisation can be contacted directly should people wish to verify their identity. If they contact via email, their email address will end in either '.gov.uk' or 'nhs.uk'. 

Genuine contact tracers will never:

  • Ask you to dial a premium rate number to speak to us (for example, those starting 09 or 087)
  • Ask you to make any form of payment
  • Ask for any details about your bank account
  • Ask for your social media identities or login details, or those of your contacts
  • Ask you for any passwords or PINs, or ask you to set up any passwords or PINs over the phone
  • Ask you to purchase a product
  • Ask you to download any software to your device or ask you to hand over control of your PC, smartphone or tablet
  • Ask you to access any website that does not belong to the Government or NHS


Protect yourself and others

Stay alert

We can all help control the virus if we all stay alert. This means you must:

  • stay at home as much as possible
  • work from home if you can
  • limit contact with other people
  • keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
  • wash your hands regularly

Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.

Read more about what you can and cannot do.

The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of:

  • a new continuous cough
  • a fever
  • loss/change to your normal sense of smell or taste

For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness.

It is very important that individuals with symptoms that may be due to coronavirus and their household members stay at home. Staying at home will help control the spread of the virus to friends, the wider community, and particularly the most vulnerable.

Those with symptoms and living alone should remain at home for 7 days after the onset of their symptoms (information on ending self-isolation). This will reduce the risk of you infecting others.

If you live with others and you or one of them have symptoms that may be caused by coronavirus, then household members must stay at home and not leave your house for 14 days. If possible, you should not go out even to buy food or other essentials, other than exercise, and in that case at a safe distance from others. 

Ask friends or family to drop off anything you need or order supplies online, but make sure these are left outside your home for you to collect.

Stay at home guidance for households with possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.

The government has updated its guidance for people who are shielding taking into account that coronavirus infection rates have decreased significantly over the last few weeks. Shielding guidance has been and continues to be advisory.

People who are shielding remain vulnerable and should continue to take precautions but may now choose to leave their home, as long as they are able to maintain strict social distancing. If you choose to spend time outdoors, you may do so with members of your own household. If you live alone, you can spend time outdoors with one person from another household or you may choose to spend time outdoors with one person from another household. Ideally, this should be the same person each time.

If you do go out, you should take extra care to minimise contact with others by keeping 2 metres apart. This guidance will be kept under regular review.

Emergency Support Helpline for vulnerable people needing urgent help with food, medicines and essential supplies

Cumbria County Council and partners have launched an emergency support service and 6 welfare coordination Hubs for people at high risk of becoming seriously ill, as a result of COVID-19, and who do not have support available from friends, family or neighbours. If they have no alternative support, these people will now be able to call the Freephone number to request help with getting food, medicines, essential supplies and home deliveries.

Ways to get in touch:

  • Phone - The emergency telephone support helpline is 0800 783 1966.
  • Online - COVID-19 online support form.
  • Email your request for help to COVID19support@cumbria.gov.uk.
  • The telephone 'call' centre operates Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, and 10am to 2pm at weekends and Bank Holidays. The service also accepts referrals from members of the public who may be concerned about people in their community.

Find out more about the emergency support helpline


Easy Read


Further information and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance and support - Find information on coronavirus, including guidance, support, announcements and statistics.

Staying alert and safe (social distancing) - The most important thing we can do is to stay alert, control the virus, and in doing so, save lives.

Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can't do - Frequently asked questions on what you can and can't do during the coronavirus outbreak.

Staying safe outside your home - The principles you should follow to ensure that time spent outside your home is as safe as possible.

    You can help prevent the spread of flu germs and viruses and it's really easy - remember to catch it, bin it, kill it.

    • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze.
    • Put used tissues in the bin immediately.
    • Wash your hands more often for 20 seconds with soap and water. Or use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
    • Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell.

    Find out more about symptoms and if you're worried.

    catch it bin it kill it