One in four virus close contacts still not being traced

More than one in four people who have come into close contact with a coronavirus victim are still not being found by the test and trace system in South Tyneside, new figures suggest.

Test and Trace workers
Test and Trace workers

Data from the Department for Health and Social care shows 8,543 people who tested positive for Covid-19 in South Tyneside were transferred to the national test and trace service between May 28 and January 13 – with 560 new cases in the last seven-days of that period.

This led to 16,469 close contacts being identified over the period, but just 73.5% of those were reached – meaning 4,372 people were not contacted or did not respond.

The number of contacts reached was slightly up on the 72.5% who were found in the period to January 6

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


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Anyone who is then contacted by NHS Test and Trace is told they have been in contact with someone who has tested positive and told to self isolate.

Nationally, 92.8% of contacts, not managed by local health protection teams, were reached by NHS Test and Trace in the latest week to January 13 -after around 352,000 new cases were transferred in the last week.

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

The contact tracing rate including these cases was 92.9% - up from 92.7% the week before.