Chelmsford City Council is part of Covid-19 Contact Tracing success across Essex

January 3, 2021 11:44 AM

Test Track TraceTracing systems led by our local councils have proved to be a huge success. 86 per cent of cases are closed and 93 per cent of contacts traced. This contrasts with the Government-run, centralised tracing system with a contact trace rate of nearer 60 per cent.

Essex County Council launched a Covid-19 contact tracing service in June and works closely with partners in Chelmsford City and other borough / district councils in Essex.

The National NHS tracing service traced people who needed to self-isolate after coming into contact with people who had tested positive for Covid-19.

From October, when the national service could not contact a person, the contact was referred to local councils, who could use local knowledge and phone calls to track down contacts. Chelmsford City and other borough / district councils work on contacting the last 14 per cent of cases, which will result in even more cases closed and contacts traced.

The district-level tracers were asked to help with contacts that had limited details such as no phone number or the wrong details, maybe a cross reference with Council tax info or other local sources. A door to door visit might be needed for any non-responsive cases to ensure they are isolating, have the necessary support and to contact Essex and Southend Contact Tracing Service (ESCTS) to close the case and get any contacts.

Cllr. Stephen Robinson, Leader of Chelmsford City Council, said, "This is a great example of the real difference that local councils can make to people's lives. We are closer to the people we serve than the Government and know our areas better. I wish that councils had been given responsibility for test and trace right from the start of the pandemic."

Dr Mike Gogarty, Essex County Council Director of Wellbeing and Public Health, said: "This is a great example of partnership working between the county council and the city, borough and district teams.

"Contact tracing is such an important part of our strategy to stop Covid-19 transmission and this work will have made a huge difference to transmission rates.

"I will again underline the need to maintain social distancing to a width of two metres, to keep up a good hygiene regime of hand washing, and the ongoing need to test, and self-isolate in the event of a positive test."