Cumbria County Council and Public Health are urging people to make sure they provide the correct details in pubs and restaurants after COVID-19 cases rise.
This follows the events last week where people who had visited a number of different pubs in Carlisle and Penrith were asked to get tested for COVID-19.
As part of the effort to stop the spread of the virus pubs and restaurants should be collecting contact details from customers to help local contact tracing work should it be needed.
Since last week over 1200 people have received a text message from the council advising them to get tested.
But it has emerged that around 15 to 20 percent of the contact information provided by customers is wrong or unusable.
- No details or clearly false numbers.
- Incorrect mobile phone numbers with too many or too few digits
- Illegible handwriting
Now the public are being asked to stop and double check the details they provide, and wherever possible provide a mobile phone number rather than a landline.
Colin Cox, Cumbria’s Director of Public Health, said: “This information is absolutely vital to our efforts to stop the spread of the virus.
“Being able to contact people quickly and easily if they have potentially been exposed to someone who is infectious is hugely important.
“I know it is a bit of an inconvenience, but I urge people to provide their contact details when asked and make certain they are correct and readable.
“Almost 1 in 5 of the people we think may potentially have been exposed last week will not hear from us directly because of unusable information. It’s a simple thing to do, just double check your details.”
The key public health messages remain:
- Wash or sanitise hands regularly
- Observe social distancing rules
- Wear face masks or coverings in enclosed public spaces
- If you have symptoms, self-isolate and get tested
- Follow advice to self-isolate if asked
Testing is available in Carlisle at Brunton Park Tuesday and Wednesday 29 July from 10am to 3pm, and at Penrith Rugby Club seven days a week. People can book a test at: https://www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test
If testing slots are not available online it is possible to attend Brunton Park without a booking (on foot or in a car), but you may have to wait, must wear a mask and observe social distancing.
The Penrith test centre must be booked in advance.
Home testing kits can also be ordered via https://www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test
Any NHS staff affected should arrange testing via their employer.
Testing is also available in Annan and Gretna. Tests can be booked at: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested/pages/arrange-a-test/