Renfrewshire Council

Last reviewed: 6pm, Thursday 8 October

If you or a close contact develops symptoms of COVID-19

What to do if you or a close contact develops symptoms of COVID-19 at work or at home, self-isolating, informing your manager, booking a test, if you test positive or negative, contact tracing, support and advice for staff and managers, returning to work.

Here you will find information and guidance for staff and managers about:


What the symptoms of COVID-19 are

The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are:

  • a new and continuous cough
  • a fever or high temperature (37.8C or greater)
  • loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste.

It's very important that you stay at home if you have symptoms that may be caused by coronavirus (COVID-19). You should also stay at home if someone you live with or someone in your extended household has symptoms.
Household isolation will help to control the spread of the virus to the wider community and the most vulnerable.

Follow this advice if you:

  • have symptoms that may be caused by coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • are a close contact of someone who has symptoms that may be caused by coronavirus (COVID-19).

You can find general health advice on NHS Inform - Coronavirus.


Self-isolate, inform your manager and book a test

If you have symptoms

If you show symptoms of COVID-19, you must:

Tell your manager

If you are sick and off work, you must contact your line manager to let them know in line with your normal reporting absence procedure. They will make sure you are supported and notify the relevant people of your absence.

Once you've recovered, contact your line manager to discuss your availability and return to work arrangements.

Book a test

Phone the coronavirus helpline (0800 028 2816) if you can't access the test form online or need help to complete it.
There is priority testing for key workers, and those in their household, to make sure essential services are kept running, You can find a list of key workers who qualify for priority testing and how to book your test on NHS Inform.


If you, a member of your household or a close contact develops symptoms of COVID-19

If you show symptoms of COVID-19 while at work

Your manager will take a note of your symptoms and make arrangements to help you get home safely. If you need to use public transport, keep away from other people and wear a face covering. Once you are home, make sure you book a test as soon as possible.

If you show symptoms of COVID-19 at home

You should stay home, book a test as soon as possible and contact your manager who will inform HR and update your absence on Business World.

If a member of your household or a close contact develops symptoms of COVID-19

Do not come to work. You should all stay at home and self-isolate for 14 days from the day the symptoms first appeared. Anyone with symptoms should book a test or if they have been asked to do so by a public health worker.

If the person who has symptoms receives a negative test result during this time, they no longer need to self-isolate.


If you or a close contact tests positive for COVID-19

Tell your manager if you or a close contact test positive

You should tell your manager immediately if you or a close contact test positive for COVID-19. 

Self-isolate

If you test positive you should self-isolate for 10 days from the date your symptoms started or the date your test was done if you have no symptoms. The people you live with should also isolate for 14 days from this date.

Anyone required to isolate should follow the NHS guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection.

Follow this advice even if you haven't been contacted by the contact tracing service so far.


Contact tracing

Contact tracing if you test positive for COVID-19

Contact tracing is a process for identifying people at risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) infection because they have been physically close enough to a person who has tested positive. These people will get advice to help reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

If you test positive for COVID-19 you will be asked for details of anyone you have been in close contact with recently. Your close contacts will also be asked to self-isolate, but your identity will not be revealed. 

Contact tracing if you are identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19

If you are contacted by NHS Test and Protect because you have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, you should immediately self-isolate for 14 days. You do not need to book a test unless you develop symptoms yourself or you have been asked to do so by a public health worker.


Support and guidance for staff and managers

If you need support to isolate

There's lots of information to support you when isolating at home. The NHS Inform website is the best place to start, and the council is here to support you.

Please ask your manager if you need support while you self-isolate so they can then keep in touch with you remotely to offer support and advice. 

If you do not have a support network that can provide you with essentials such as food and medicine, please contact the National Assistance Helpline on 0800 111 4000.

Reporting an absence

You must contact your manager to let them know in line with your normal reporting absence procedure. They will make sure you are supported and notify the relevant people of your absence.

Managers should follow the process for when a team member tests positive for COVID-19

Contact tracing if a colleague tests positive for COVID-19

If a colleague tests positive or is told to isolate, you should come in to work as normal unless you receive a call or text from NHS Test and Protect asking you to self-isolate as well. You will only be asked to self-isolate if you have been identified as a close contact with someone who has tested positive.

Please be assured that we are following the latest NHS and government guidance on workplace safety and have the right measures in place to protect you and help you to follow the hygiene guidance. You can find this guidance in the Working safely during coronavirus section.


Returning to work

Returning to work if you test negative for COVID-19

You can return to work after a negative test result if:

  • everyone in your household with symptoms receives a negative test result too
  • you are well enough and have not had symptoms for 48 hours.

You cannot return to work after a negative test result if:

  • you have been identified as a close contact by the NHS Test and Protect service
  • you have a negative test but someone in your house has a positive test or has symptoms and has not been tested yet.

Returning to work if you've had symptoms of COVID-19

If you stayed at home for 10 days because you had symptoms, you can return to work and your usual activities on the 11th day if you feel better and no longer have symptoms.

If you stayed at home for 14 days because you were in close contact with someone who had symptoms, you can return to your usual activities on the 15th day, as long as you have no symptoms.

You can return to work after a negative test result if:

  • everyone in your household with symptoms receives a negative test result too
  • you are well enough and have not had symptoms for 48 hours.

Contact your manager to discuss your availability and return to work arrangements. 

If, after your return to work, you or anyone in your household or extended household develops new coronavirus symptoms at any point after ending a period of isolation, you should follow the same guidance on self-isolation and testing again.