Test and trace success rate less than two thirds

The coronavirus test and trace system in Northumberland is failing to find over a third of people who come into contact with someone who has tested positive.

The figures from the Department for Health and Social Care comes amid a record number of new positive cases and shows 5,503 people who tested positive for Covid-19 in the area were transferred to the the Test and Trace service between May 28 and November 11.

The data also shows 962 new cases were transferred in the last seven days of that period – the largest increase since the regime began.

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The system identified 12,216 close contacts over the period – but just 63.3% were reached – meaning 4,478 people who came into close contact with a someone who was found to be positive for COVID-19 was not traced.

In the North East, 59.4% of contacts were reached on average.

Across England, 58.9% 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 November 11.

Contact tracers ask each new person with a positive test to give details for anyone they were in close contact with in the 48 hours before their symptoms started.

They should then be contacted and told to self isolate

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

Nationally, around 157,000 new cases were transferred in the week to November 11 - the highest weekly number since NHS Test and Trace was launched.