Contact tracers reaching fewer Covid contacts in Bedford

The figures are from the Department for Health and Social care

By Deborah Price, Local Democracy Reporter
Thursday, 26th November 2020, 4:20 pm

Fewer close contacts of people with coronavirus in Bedford are being reached through the test and trace system, amid a record number of new positive cases.

Data from the Department for Health and Social care shows 2,206 people who tested positive for Covid-19 in Bedford were transferred to the Test and Trace service between May 28 and November 18.

That means 301 new cases were transferred in the latest seven-day period – the largest increase since the regime began.

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

This led to 4,649 close contacts being identified over the period – those not managed by local health protection teams, which are dealt with through a call centre or online.

But just 60% were reached, meaning 1,858 people were not contacted or did not respond.

That was slightly down from the 60.6% reached up to November 11, and below the 60.7% average across the East of England as whole.

Across England, 58.8% 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 18.

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

The contact tracing rate including these cases was 60.3% – up slightly from the week before when it was 60.7%.

Around 157,000 new cases were transferred nationally in the week to November 18, the highest weekly number since NHS Test and Trace was launched.

Earlier today (Thursday) the government announced which areas would be placed in each tier of the new three tier system, Bedford has been placed in Tier 2. Read full story here.