Local COVID-19 contact tracing service now up and running

The first phase of the Covid jab in Hunts is depicted on graph.

Local teams in Hertfordshire are now leading efforts to get in touch with people who have tested positive for COVID-19 - Credit: PA Images

Local teams are now leading efforts to identify contacts of people who test positive for coronavirus. 

The new 'Local-0 scheme', launched this month, is a partnership between Herts County Council and the Department of Health and Social Care.

Teams from the county council and the 10 district and borough councils are now primarily responsible for contacting people who have tested positive - which was previously done by NHS Test and Trace.

Those who test positive will be contacted by either the county or district and borough council to ensure that they and any members of their household that need to can self-isolate successfully, and have the necessary support to do so.

In February and March, 92 per cent of positive cases in Hertfordshire were successfully reached and the contact tracing process completed.

The new approach should mean that people who have tested positive will be contacted more quickly, while the national NHS Test and Trace service will continue to provide support in tracing the contacts of COVID-positive residents.

Jim McManus, director of public health for Hertfordshire

Jim McManus, director of public health for Hertfordshire - Credit: Archant

Jim McManus, director of Public Health for Hertfordshire, said: "The new scheme is an important step, as it will allow teams at the district and borough councils to use their local knowledge of communities and their expertise to determine more quickly where people may have caught the virus, and that knowledge will help to stop the spread and identify any possible local outbreaks.

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"As our self-isolation support day last month showed once again, our residents are incredible - most are self-isolating when they need to, and that's fantastic.

"However, we fully understand that some of our residents need support to self-isolate effectively. Anybody that does need support can contact HertsHelp, which can assist in a number of ways."

HertsHelp is a network of community organisations which can assist residents with a range of services, such as mental health support, collecting shopping and vital medical supplies, money and debt concerns and arranging help when needed for pet care.

For more information email info@hertshelp.net, call 0300 123 4044 or go to www.hertshelp.net