Test and trace needs to be local

Local councils should be given the funding, real-time data and personnel to help reach all those who have been in contact with people testing positive for coronavirus, the LGA says.

Test and trace statistics published weekly have consistently shown that local health protection teams are reaching close to all cases assigned to them, with the latest figures for the week ending 14 October showing that 94.8 per cent of contacts were asked to self-isolate.

By comparison, for those cases handled either online or by call centres, only 57.6 per cent of close contacts were reached.

It comes as the overall number found through the system is at its lowest weekly rate since NHS Test and Trace began, dipping below 60 per cent for the most recent week.

Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: “It is hugely concerning that the national test and trace system is going backwards in the number of close contacts reached of those who have tested positive for coronavirus.

“If we are to prevent this second wave from escalating further, we need the system to meet the recommended 80 per cent benchmark if it is to have any chance of success.”


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