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County Council Sets Up Contact Tracing to Back National Effort

Published on: 27 Nov, 2020
Updated on: 29 Nov, 2020

The county council is now helping in test and trace, contacting residents who have tested positive for Covid-19, if the national programme has been unable to reach them.

Contact tracing is one of the most effective ways of slowing the virus spread. People who have tested positive are asked for their close contacts while they’ve been infectious.

Those contacts are alerted by national test and trace programme and given the appropriate advice, so they can self-isolate and avoid infecting others.

Residents who test positive will be referred to the local contact tracing team if the national service is unable to contact them within 24 hours. Relevant data-sharing has been agreed by Public Health England and the council.

The overall target set by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) is for 80% of positive cases to be reached by contact tracers. Surrey’s contact tracing completion rate is already about 80% through the national service.

Using local services will ensure even more people who have tested positive are successfully contacted. The council team will be calling from 01483 404939. They will complete a contact tracing questionnaire and offer any relevant welfare support or financial assistance advice.

Those on low income told to self-isolate by NHS test and trace can get help through the self-isolation payment scheme and may be entitled to £500 from the council. More information is on the Surrey County Council website.

Ruth Hutchinson, the council’s director of public health, said: “This is an opportunity for us to build on the national effort and use our local knowledge to reach even more people.

“Our contact tracers have undergone the national training programme and are familiar with Surrey’s local areas and communities.”

The county council will be working with district and borough councils to deliver the service.

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