Nearly a third of virus contacts still being missed

Nearly a third of people who had close contact with a coronavirus victim in Northumberland are still not being reached by the test and trace system, figures suggest.

By Katie Williams
Thursday, 31st December 2020, 4:58 pm
Test and trace missing a third of contacts
Test and trace missing a third of contacts

Data from the Department for Health and Social care shows that 9,590 people who tested positive for Covid-19 in the county were transferred to the Test and Trace service between May 28 and December 23 – with 678 new cases in the last seven-day of that period.

This has led to 20,660 close contacts being identified over the seven months – but just 70% of those were reached.

That means 6,076 people were not reached by tracers and told to self isolate.

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That was an improvement on the 69% of close contacts reached in the period to December 16

Nationally, 92.5% of contacts were reached and told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace in the latest week to December 23.

Local health protection teams deal with cases linked to settings such as hospitals, schools and prisons and the contact rate including these cases was 92.6%, in line with the week before.

Around 212,000 new cases were transferred nationally in the week to December 23.

Contact tracers ask new patients to give details for anyone they were in close contact with in the 48 hours before their symptoms started.

Nationally, in the week between December 17 and 23 December, 181,910 people who tested positive were successfully reached, 58,398 more than the previous week – with 377,459 close contacts successfully reached – 110,801 more than the previous week.