William Eichler 20 November 2020

Council chiefs call for ‘greater local oversight’ of test and trace

Council chiefs call for ‘greater local oversight’ of test and trace  image

Local authority leaders have called for ‘greater local oversight and involvement’ when it comes to COVID-19 testing and tracing.

Responding to the publication of the latest NHS Test and Trace and coronavirus testing figures, Cllr Ian Hudspeth, chairman of the Local Government Association’s (LGA) Community Wellbeing Board, said: ‘It remains extremely worrying that with infection rates and deaths from coronavirus continuing to increase during this lockdown, the test and trace system is still only picking up six out of every ten contacts of people who tested positive.

‘We need to reach the recommended 80% benchmark to have any chance to getting this second wave under control.’ Cllr Hudspeth emphasised the importance of a local approach to fighting the coronavirus.

‘Local health protection teams reached 98.9% of contacts of cases managed by them, compared to 58.9% of close contacts of those managed online or by call centres,’ he said.

‘Councils know their communities best, setting up contact tracing teams across the country to work with the national system and successfully find many hard-to-reach cases.

‘They also need greater local oversight and involvement with testing and tracing to help get on top of this virus. This includes support with communication, capacity and workforce personnel, alongside better, faster data on who they should be trying to contact.’

Image: Ben Thornley / Shutterstock.com.

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