Test and trace misses nearly a third of close contacts

Test and Trace workersTest and Trace workers
Test and Trace workers
Nearly a third of close contacts of people with coronavirus are still not being reached by the test and trace system in Northumberland, new figures suggest.

Data from the Department for Health and Social care shows 10,499 people who tested positive for Covid-19 in the area were transferred to the national Test and Trace service between May 28 and December 30 – 909 new cases in the last week of that time.

This led to 22,465 close contacts being identified – with 72.3% being reached – meaning that 6,232 people were either not contacted or did not respond.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

That figure was an improvement on the 70.6% reached in the period to December 23.

Nationally, 92.3% of contacts were reached and told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace in the week to December 30.

Local health protection teams reached 99.8 per cent of contacts of cases managed by them in the week to 30 December.

Cllr Ian Hudspeth, chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: “With daily infection rates and deaths from coronavirus at their highest ever level, we urgently need to be picking up as many contacts of people who test positive, as quickly as possible.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Councils know their communities best, with nearly nine in 10 setting up contact tracing teams to work with the national system and successfully find many hard-to-reach cases.

“But they need greater support – communication, capacity and workforce – and better and faster information on who they should be trying to contact.”