COVID-19 - contact tracing in complex settings: health protection team guidance

Publication Date: 31 December 2020

This is a joint publication between Public Health Scotland and ARHAI Scotland, part of NHS National Services Scotland.

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This guidance provides recommendations for the identification of contacts of confirmed human cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) when either the case and/or the contact is linked to a complex setting. 

A complex and/or high risk setting can be one where the case or contact work, reside or have visited during any part of the infective period, and include, but are not limited to the following: 

  • social care setting, such as care homes
  • healthcare setting, such as hospital or GP
  • emergency services
  • prison or other detention facility detention
  • educational establishment (including nursery and special needs school)
  • homeless hostel or shelter, refuge or similar setting
  • day care centre for older/vulnerable people

It should be read alongside the general COVID-19 contact tracing guidance​ which includes guidance on management and follow-up of identified cases and contacts. 

This document is for use by all staff involved in tracing and managing contacts of cases in complex settings. This will be undertaken by NHS b​oard health protection teams (HPT) who will receive information from local contact tracing staff when a complex setting is identified during initial follow-up with the case.

Resource information

Public Health Scotland,ARHAI Scotland
Publication type:
Guideline and Guidance


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