Coronavirus: Contact Tracing

(asked on 25th June 2020) - View Source

Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the advice by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies that delays over 72 hours in contacting individuals who have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 will have a detrimental effect on the 'R' value for COVID-19, what steps they are taking to ensure that all such individuals are traced within 72 hours.

Answered by
Lord Bethell Portrait
Lord Bethell
This question was answered on 20th July 2020

The Government launched its NHS Test and Trace service on 28 May 2020 to control the rate of reproduction (R), reduce the spread of the virus and save lives.

The contact tracing process starts as soon as NHS Test and Trace receive notification that someone has tested positive for COVID-19. We are reaching the close contacts of thousands of positive cases and we are encouraged by the progress so far and user feedback.

NHS Test and Trace statistics published on 9 July show that since 28 May 90.3% (17,322) of people who tested positive for COVID-19 were successfully reached and asked to provide details about close contacts within 48 hours (for non-complex cases only). Additionally, 83.4% (22,574) of people identified as recent close contacts were reached and advised to self-isolate within 24 hours of being identified (for non-complex cases only).

Currently we only have timings for each part of the process rather than the end to end journey, so we can say how many people received test results within 24 hours, how many people who tested positive were reached within 24 hours (for non-complex cases only) and how many people who were identified as contacts were reached within 24 hours (for non-complex cases only).

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