Northumberland Test and Trace contacts fall for fifth week

The virus contact tracing success rate in Northumberland has fallen for the fifth week running, new figures show.

Friday, 30th October 2020, 5:24 pm
Grahame Morris MP

Data from the Department for Health and Social care shows 3,178 people who tested positive for Covid-19 in the area were transferred to the Test and Trace service between May 28 and October 21.

This led to 7,482 close contacts being identified – but just 63.9% were reached – a figure that has fallen steadily over a five-week period.

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

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Across England, 58.1% of contacts not managed by local health protection teams were reached and told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace in the latest week to October 21.

Local health protection teams deal with cases linked to settings such as hospitals, schools and prisons.

Last week, North East MP Grahame Morris called for the centralised service to be put into local hands.

Mr Morris, MP for Easington, said: “The Government have failed to deliver an effective Test and Trace system, which is far from the world-beating system promised by the Prime Minister.

"The Conservative Party is instinctively opposed to publicly run services and this has seen local councils overlooked and billions of pounds handed yet again to failing outsourcing companies.

"Centralising Test and Trace, a task that requires local knowledge and insight, was doomed to fail from the start.”

He added: “We must turn to accountable and trusted democratic institutions, with the local knowledge and expertise to turn the tide on the covid second wave.”