COVID-19 - public health information
Book a test if you have symptoms
If you have Coronavirus symptoms, you need to get tested as soon as possible:
- a high temperature
- a new, continuous cough
- a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste.
If you are getting a test because you have symptoms, you and anyone you live with must stay at home (self-isolate) until you get your result. Anyone in your support bubble must also self-isolate until you get your result.
For more information on symptoms and how to book a test visit: NHS: Coronavirus (COVID-19)..
Live COVID-19 public update - Tuesday 2 March
We are broadcasting our fifth live public COVID-19 update on Tuesday 2 March at 5.30pm, live via Microsoft Teams.
The broadcast will be an opportunity to hear about the latest rates of COVID-19 cases in Wiltshire, the arrangements in place to mitigate the spread of the virus, how the council is continuing to support residents and businesses at this time and answering residents questions.
Support for those identified as Clinically Extremely Vulnerable
If you've been identified as Clinically Extremely Vulnerable as part of the new national lockdown measures, there is a range of support available to help you through this difficult time.
- Shielding: If you have been identified as clinically extremely vulnerable you are required to shield. You will soon receive a letter from the Government with more information and guidance on this.
- Need local support? If you don't have a support network around you please don't hesitate to contact our Wiltshire Wellbeing Hub on 0300 003 4576 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. It's open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm and Saturdays from 10am to 4pm.
- Wiltshire Community Groups : more than 300 community groups have been set-up across the county throughout the pandemic, ready to provide support to anyone who needs it. Take a look at our directory to find the groups local to Community Groups Directory
- Test and trace support payment: If you are on a lower income and are required to self-isolate because of COVID-19, you may be eligible for a support payment COVID-19 Test and Trace payment support scheme
- NHS Volunteer Responders: this programme can provide support such as picking up your shopping, and they also have a 'check in and chat' function if you feel isolated and need to speak to a friendly voice NHS Volunteer Responders
- Mental health support: this is a difficult time for many, if you feel you need some mental health support there is plenty of advice, guidance and contacts Wiltshire Council mental health support page
Get vitamin D supplements: use this NHS service to get free daily vitamin D supplements NHS vitamin D service
COVID-19 vaccination update
Latest update from the NHS on the COVID-19 vaccination programme:
Phased vaccine supply means the bulk of vaccination for high risk groups will inevitably take place between January and April. The NHS has produced ashowing the order in which they are aiming to vaccinate groups. However, in the meantime great vigilance is required to prevent a third wave of COVID-19.
Patients aged 80 and above who are already attending hospital as an outpatient, and those who are being discharged home after a hospital stay, will be among the first to receive the life-saving jab.
Hospitals have already begun inviting people aged over 80 in for a jab and working with care home providers to book their staff in to vaccination clinics.
The NHS is working to overcome significant challenges to vaccinate care home residents as soon as possible, and expect to begin well before Christmas. As the Care Minister, Helen Whately has said, getting the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to care home residents is challenging because of the requirements for transporting it and the temperature at which it is stored.
All those vaccinated will need a booster jab 21 days later.
When it is the right time people will receive an invitation to come forward. For most people this will be a letter, either from their GP or the national NHS. This letter will include all the information a person will need to book appointments, including their NHS number.
The public are being asked not to contact the NHS to get an appointment until they get this letter.
The NHS is rapidly putting in place new delivery channels tailored to the particular logistical requirements of the first COVID-19 vaccine to be approved:
- Hospital Hubs: Dozens of NHS Trusts will act as hospital hubs where patients and staff can be vaccinated on site. These hubs are where the NHS know the Pfizer vaccine can be stored safely. There are 50 hubs in the first wave and more hospitals will start vaccinating over the coming weeks and months as vaccine supply increases and the programme ramps up.
- Local Vaccination Services: To make it as easy as possible for those who are eligible to access a vaccination safely, Local Vaccination Services will also be available. These community and primary care-led services will vary based on local and logistical considerations but will include GP practices, local authority sourced buildings or other local facilities and as vaccine supply increases in the New Year, local pharmacies too.
- Vaccination Centres: The NHS will also establish vaccination centres, where large numbers of people will be able to go and get a jab. The majority will open in the New Year when supply of the vaccine increases. They are being set up in local venues such as sports stadiums and concert venues that offer the physical space to deal with large numbers of people while maintaining social distancing.
The NHS will offer the vaccine to more groups of people and in more ways, like local vaccination services, but this will be a marathon over the coming months, not a sprint:
- The programme will keep expanding the programme as it gets more vaccines.
- To ensure vaccines can be delivered as quickly as possible, the NHS has been recruiting and training more vaccinators and support staff from across the NHS and outside of it.
- All of these will be trained, assessed and supervised, just like regular NHS vaccinators.
The public can really help the NHS deliver this effectively to those who need it most. They ask:
- The NHS will contact you when it's the right time to come forward so please don't seek a vaccine before then;
- Please act on your invitation and make sure you attend your appointments when you arrange them;
- And of course, please continue to abide by all the social distancing and hand hygiene guidance, which will still save lives.
You can follow @NHSEngland on Twitter for the latest developments.
We wanted to make sure that our residents are aware of how the COVID-19 vaccination programme is being rolled out. Nationally this programme is led by the NHS and in Wiltshire the Bath And North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group are the lead organisation with support from Wiltshire Council and partners. Residents will be written to directly by the NHS with information on their appointment for the vaccine so there is no need to call NHS in advance.
If you have any queries about the timings of vaccinations or priority groups please find information on the JCVI website where all relevant information is held.
For more information about the local rollout of the coronavirus vaccine visit Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group.
New mailbox for vaccination queries
The CCG has launched a new mailbox for vaccination queries from public and stakeholders.
Questions relating to the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine can be sent via email to email@example.com.
The mailbox will be regularly monitored, and queries will be responded to as quickly as possible.
Wiltshire's Contact Tracing Service
Wiltshire's local tracing partnership is our local COVID-19 Contact Tracing Service which seeks contact people who have tested positive for COVID-19 but for whom NHS Test and Trace have been unable to reach. Our contact tracers use local methods to contact cases and give them the advice they and their households require as well collecting contact details for people they have been in contact with.
With robust contact tracing we can work to ensure any potential exposures to the virus are identified, gathering information on where people may have been in the days prior to a positive test. It also means individuals can be provided with the appropriate self-isolation advice.
If you are contacted by the test and trace service, or you receive a call or text from our COVID Contact Tracing team at the Council via 0300 4560100, please adhere to the advice and self-isolate if you are advised to do so.
More information can be found on our local test and trace news story.
Gemma Brinn from our Public Health team explains more in this local test and trace video.
Businesses can only open if they are confident about managing the risks and are able to follow the Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance.
Further information can be found in the A - Z section of this page under 'Community information: support, volunteering, information packs'
A toolkit has been developed to assist community groups, group leaders should work through each section of the toolkit, ensuring they are confident prior to and throughout operation.
If you need help and do not have any family, friends or neighbours who can support you please let us know. We are here to help you with:
- deliveries of food and other essentials
- loneliness and wellbeing
You can request this help by calling our helpline on 0300 003 4576 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Wellbeing Hub team are available Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
We have published our plans to help the county respond quickly and effectively should there be a local COVID-19 outbreak.
We were allocated £1.586m from a £300million government fund to work with the NHS and a range of local partners to ensure a joined-up local approach was in place in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak.
The Wiltshire Local Outbreak Management Plan (LOMP) sets out the approach for managing COVID-19 outbreaks locally to protect residents and support the most vulnerable.
The LOMP will build on local expertise and effective health protection processes that are already in place, and outlines how the council and partners will positively engage with the public so they're fully aware and supportive of the crucial part they have to play in the process.
The government has identified seven themes that are deemed essential to plans to manage an outbreak effectively. They are:
- Care homes and schools
- Identify high risk settings, communities and places
- Local testing capacity
- Contact tracing
- Data integration
- Vulnerable people
We will work with the Government to support test and trace services in local communities, taking a place-based approach to containing the spread of the infection as much as possible.
Take a look at the plans
The following Twitter accounts will be regularly posting out the latest factual advice and information related to COVID-19:
- Public Health England Twitter account
- Department of Health and Social Care (@DHSCgovuk)
- Wiltshire Council Twitter
- NHS England (@NHSEngland) - the NHS advises to only trust NHS organisations on Twitter that are 'blue-tick verified'
- Dorset and Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service (@DWFireRescue)
- NHS Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group (@NHSBSWCCG)
- Twitter: Swindon Borough Council (@SwindonCouncil)
- Twitter: Foreign Office (@foreignoffice)
Wiltshire Council Privacy Notice relating to NHS Test and Trace
Wiltshire Council will collect personal data, as requested by the Government, to help with the NHS Test and Trace programme in relation to Covid-19. Further information can be found on GOV.UK: Guidance maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace
What is test and trace?
COVID-19 is an infectious disease affecting the whole of the country. The virus that causesCOVID-19 is a Coronavirus. Infectious diseases present a serious and ongoing threat to public health. If not controlled, they can infect large numbers of people and, depending on the disease and other factors, can result in ill-effects ranging from relatively minor symptoms to early death.
Contact tracing is an important way of controlling the spread of infectious diseases. It involves identifying and tracing all the people who have been in contact with a person who has been infected. Depending on the nature and duration of the contact, these contacts may require advice or treatment to prevent the disease spreading further.
The purposes for which your data will be used:
- To keep a record of who has visited our venues and when (this includes visitor and staff)
- To share this information with NHS Test and Trace if requested
In relation to staff we will record:
- the names of staff who work at the premises
- a contact phone number for each member of staff
- the dates and times that staff are at work
In relation to customers and visitors we will record:
- the name of the customer or visitor. If there is more than one person, then you can record the name of the 'lead member' of the group and the number of people in the group
- a contact phone number for each customer or visitor, or for the lead member of a group of people
- date of visit, arrival time and, where possible, departure time
- if a customer will interact with only one member of staff, the name of the assigned staff member should be recorded alongside the name of the customer
Please note you do not have to give us this information in relation to NHS Test and Trace, and no other information will be requested for this purpose.
Our lawful basis for processing your personal information are:
- It is necessary for the performance of a task in the public interest as part of this council's response to the pandemic (Article 6(1)(e) of the General Data Protection Regulation 2016).
In addition, if your attendance at our venues would reveal protected characteristics about you (known as Special Category Data) one or more of the following basis will apply.
- Your explicit consent, (Article 9(2)(a) of GDPR).
- Processing is necessary for the purposes of the provision of health or social care relevant to the council response to the pandemic.
- Processing is necessary for reasons of public interest in the area of public health (article 9(2)(i) of GDPR).
If consent applies, the venue will let you know.
Your rights depend on the lawful basis we are relying on.
Wiltshire Council uses data processors who provide software and services to us. We may use these data processors to collect or store your information.
Who else might we share your personal information with?
Wiltshire Council will be processing your personal information to deliver relevant and appropriate data to the (Wiltshire) NHS Contact Tracing Service. Their Call Centre will then be responsible for contacting individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 and their Contacts. It is therefore necessary to share data for this purpose.
The Contact Tracing Service are permitted to share your information in accordance with rules set by the local authorities which are designed to ensure that it will only take place where it is necessary to do so and will consider the minimum level of information that needs to be shared in each circumstance.
Your information will be treated with strict confidence and only disclosed where it is necessary to prevent a COVID-19 outbreak by investigating an establishment for potential Contacts, the minimum amount of personal information will be shared if necessary with:
- Other Local Authorities to enable Environmental Health Officers to assist the establishment and provide advice to contacts
- Sub-contractors to deliver support/advice in key sectors (e.g. care homes, education, prisons, housing)
- We may need to disclose your name and the fact that you have tested positive to your employer or the operator of an institution where you have spent significant time if this is necessary to avoid or limit a COVID-19 outbreak in the workplace.
We keep your personal information for the minimum period necessary. We will normally destroy information held in relation to Test and Trace after 21 days, as recommended by the Government. Please note that if this same information is already held for other purposes, it will continue to be retained and used for those purposes.
The information outlined in this Privacy Notice will be in accordance with our Retention Policy. All information will be held securely and disposed of confidentially.
Your information used for other purposes
Your information may also be used for different purposes that are not directly related to your health and care. These include:
- Research into COVID-19
- Planning of services or actions in response to COVID-19
- Monitoring the progress and development of COVID-19
- Whenever possible, information that does not directly identify you will be used for these purposes, but there may be times when it is necessary for your personal information to be used. Any releases of information that identify you will be lawful and the minimum necessary for that purpose.