One in four in region not being reached by NHS Test and Trace

About one in four people who have been in contact with someone with coronavirus in the Black Country and Staffordshire are not being reached by the test and trace system.

Across England, nearly 93 per cent of contacts not managed by local protection teams were being reached and told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace in the week to January 13.

Data from the Department of Health and Social Care shows about 237,900 people in the Black Country and Staffordshire should have been contacted between May 28 and January 13.

Contact tracers ask patients to give details for anyone they were in close contact with in the 48 hours before their symptoms started.

But more than 56,000 in the region were not contacted in that time frame, or failed to respond. Despite the figures rising, more people in the region have been reached by NHS Test and Trace on a weekly basis.

In Staffordshire, 42,234 people who tested positive for the virus were transferred to the service – with 4,166 new cases in the latest seven-day period of figures published. It meant that 84,260 close contacts were identified – 76.3 per cent of those were reached, meaning 19,973 were not contacted.

That was up for the 74.7 per cent reached in the period to January 6. In Sandwell, 22,505 people tested positive for the virus in this time – including 3,164 in the latest week’s figures. It meant that 46,676 close contacts were identified – but just 75.3 per cent were reached, meaning 11,550 were not contacted or did not response. That was up from 72.3 per cent reached in the period to January 6.

A total of 18,125 were transferred to Test and Trace in Dudley, including 2,150 in the latest week’s figures. It meant that 37,937 close contacts were identified – but just 76.2 per cent of those were reached, meaning 9,035 were not contacted.

That was up from the 74.2 per cent reached in the period to January 6. In Walsall, 16,484 people who tested positive for the virus were transferred to Test and Trace between May 28 and January 13 – including 2,181 in the latest seven-day period. It meant 35,155 close contacts were identified – but only 76.3 per cent were reached, meaning 8,328 were not contacted or did not respond. That was up from the 74 per cent reached in the period to January 6.

In Wolverhampton, 16,465 people who tested positive were transferred – including 2,433 in the latest seven-day period. It meant 33,902 close contacts were identified – but only 78.3 per cent were reached, meaning 7,364 were not contacted. That was up from 76.1 per cent in the period to January 6.

Across England, 92.8 per cent of contacts not managed by health protection teams were reached in the latest week to January 13. Local health protection teams deal with cases linked to settings such as hospitals,schools and prisons. The contact tracing rate including these cases was 92.9 per cent, up from 92.7 per cent the week before. About 352,000 new cases were transferred nationally.

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