NHS Borders has started contact tracing as Scotland tries to control the spread of coronavirus.

The local health board began the programme yesterday (May 28), with a team of “around nine” call handlers per shift.

The contact tracers will ask people with COVID-19 to reveal who they saw and where they went before they got symptoms.

The exercise, which will run seven days a week, is part of NHS Scotland’s ‘Test and Protect’ campaign.

Anyone over the age of five who is self-isolating because they are showing symptoms should arrange for a test.

They can visit nhsinform.scot/coronavirus or, if they do not have online access, call 0800 028 2816.

The NHS has put together a short guide (see below) to explain more about contact tracing.

What is contact tracing?

Contact tracing is a process of identifying people who have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19.

Contact tracers will ask people to identify others who they have been in close contact with and places they have been 48 hours prior to the onset of symptoms up to the time when they isolated.

This will identify people who may be at risk of being infected by the person as a result of being for example:

  • Members of the same household
  • In direct face-to-face contact for any length of time (e.g. within one metre or having been coughed on or having a face-to-face conversation or unprotected physical skin-to-skin contact). This also includes travelling in a small vehicle such as a car or van
  • Within two metres of another person for 15 minutes or more

People who have had close contact with the person who has tested positive will then be asked to self-isolate for 14 days.