As we recently discussed, the increased availability of Covid-19 testing has seen an anticipated rise in confirmed cases among Norse Group staff, and among our family and friends.

This has led to some staff members being notified by the NHS Test and Trace program that they are deemed to be ‘Close Contacts’. This means that they have been:

Within 2 metres of a person who has recently tested positive for Covid-19 for a period of 15 minutes or more.

We thought it would be helpful to update staff about the actions they should take if they are notified as being a ‘Close Contact’ through the NHS scheme.

Any staff member contacted by the NHS and informed that they are a ‘Close Contact’ should:

  • Self-isolate for 14 days from when they were last in contact with the person who has tested positive – this is a legal requirement
  • Inform their line manager as soon as possible
  • Monitor themselves for any signs or symptoms of the virus
  • If they start to display symptoms and these seem to be worsening, they should arrange a Covid-19 test as soon as possible (no symptoms – no need for a test; but they must self-isolate for the full 14 days)
  • If they test positive, they should self-isolate for a further 10 days from when their symptoms first started, even if the self-isolation period ends up longer than 14 days in total
  • They should also update their line manager about positive test results

If the staff member tests negative, they should:

  • Continue to self-isolate for the rest of the 14 days from when they were last in contact with the person who has tested positive

Some other things to note:

If a team member is notified that they are a ‘Close Contact’ and is self-isolating, it is not necessarily the case that their other colleagues in that team must self-isolate too.

Remember, the Government advises that you are only deemed a ‘Close Contact’ if you have been within 2 metres of someone who tests positive for Covid-19, for a period of 15 minutes or more.

In this situation, if you are unsure, the best thing to do is speak to your line manager who will discuss the matter with you and ensure you are following the guidance.

We fully appreciate that with the changing situation around Covid-19 there is a lot to take in, and if you do need any support or have any concerns about yourself or a team member, and what action to take, you can also get in touch with our HR and SHEQ Teams, as they will be more than happy to help.

You can also find out more about self-isolation and NHS Test and Trace by clicking here.

In the meantime, please continue to closely follow the safe systems of working and remain vigilant, following the basics required to help to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Hands – washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or using hand sanitiser regularly throughout the day will reduce the risk of catching or passing on the virus

Face – wearing a face covering can mean that if you’re carrying the virus, you’re less likely to spread it when you breathe out, cough or sneeze

Space – try to keep your distance from others, 2 metres and more where possible

Jamie McDonald
Group SHEQ Director

Katie Marrison
Group HR Director