A third of South Tyneside virus contacts not found

More than a third of people who have been in close contact with a coronavirus victim in South Tyneside are still not being traced, the latest figures show.

By Katie Williams
Friday, 30th October 2020, 4:54 pm
Updated Friday, 30th October 2020, 4:55 pm
Grahame Morris MP
Grahame Morris MP

Data from the Department for Health and Social care shows 2,341 people who tested positive for Covid-19 in South Tyneside were transferred to the Test and Trace service between May 28 and October 21.

This led to 5,230 close contacts being identified over the period – but just 63.6% of those were reached and told to self isolate, meaning 1,905 people were not contacted or did not respond.

That figure was was slightly up from the 63.4% reached in the period to October 14.

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.”