Coronavirus latest: Eight out of ten cases successful in Central Bedfordshire's test and trace programme

Lessons learnt from other parts of the country are helping to refine the Covid-19 test and trace process in Central Bedfordshire, a meeting heard.

By Euan Duncan
Tuesday, 29th September 2020, 11:09 am
Updated Tuesday, 29th September 2020, 11:12 am

The local operation began last month to support the national test and trace service.

Celia Shohet, CBC's assistant director of public health, gave an update to the social care overview and scrutiny committee.

She warned: “There is a risk in the event of a major second wave of Covid-19. Particularly if the national service is overwhelmed, it could impact on our ability.

Coronavirus (stock image)

“But we are doing what we can to mitigate that and make sure we’ve got the right capacity in place.

“We have plans to increase resourcing if necessary. And we have a number of staff who can support any door knocking activity required.

“The feedback and our success has been pretty good so far, although it’s not huge numbers yet.

“We’re learning from other areas, which have been doing this slightly longer, to develop and refine the offer.”

The national test and trace service aims to contact those who test positive for Covid-19 and identify anyone who may have been in close contact with them.

If the national team can’t make contact in 24 hours, their details will be passed to us and we will undertake that service, she said.

Independent Biggleswade South councillor Hayley Whitaker asked whether the local test and trace was performing better than the national service.

“Of the ten cases we’ve dealt with in Central Bedfordshire so far, eight have been contacted and that’s worked,” explained the assistant director of public health.

“Unfortunately with two of them, their numbers were incorrect.

“So it’s been reasonably successful. We aren’t that different to the national percentage.

“As far as I’m aware, we don’t have powers to enforce people to engage with test and trace.

“It’s more of an encouragement and understanding of what the benefits of doing that would be.”

Councillor Mark Versallion, who chairs the committee, said: “That’s very reassuring.

“If there are any problems you encounter, if and when things get bad this winter, you’ll share that with this committee.

“And if we can help please let us know, whether it’s resources or funding.”