A pilot programme using local contact tracers has been extended in Staffordshire, after smashing national targets and tracing more than 90% of Covid-19 cases.
Members of Staffordshire County Council’s Test and Trace team turned detective to track down people who tested positive, along with their close contacts so they could self-isolate and help stop the spread of infection.
Since September they have contacted 125,000 people in the county and played a key role in helping bring the Covid case rate down.
Now they have taken over all the tracing of contacts of people who have tested positive from the national team and seen the success rate jump to 93 per cent – compared to 81 per cent previously.
When a person tests positive for Covid-19, their close contacts must be traced and told to isolate, to prevent any further spread of the virus.
As well as tracing close contacts, the county council also offers special Covid-19 Helpline where people can get help and support.
Dr Richard Harling, Staffordshire County Council’s Director for Health and Care said: “When someone has tested positive for Covid-19, it is essential their close contacts are traced and advised to isolate. This help stops any potential further spread of Covid-19.
“Our local contact tracers can also advise people on how to isolate safely and how to access assistance for those with specific requirements for food and in-home care.
“Having a local person on the end of the phone can reassure people in what can sometimes be uncomfortable conversation. Our contact tracers are really dedicated, and have an amazing track record in reaching people and stopping the spread of Covid-19 in our communities.”
Emily Doorbar, who leads the contact tracing for Staffordshire County Council’s Covid Defence says: “We’re working closely with the national Test and Trace team, who share details with us of contacts they haven’t been able to reach.
“As we gradually come out of lockdown, tracing the contacts of positive cases is even more important, so we can stop Covid-19 taking hold in our communities. We also want to ensure anyone who is identified as a close contact of a positive case has the right help and advice available to them.
“We’ve had tremendous success so far, and I’ve no doubt that my team will continue to go the extra mile when it comes stopping the spread of Covid-19 in Staffordshire.”
For the latest information about current guidelines and Covid testing options please visit https://www.staffordshire.gov.uk/Coronavirus.