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Covid tracers fail to reach almost 10k confirmed contacts in one week

NHS Test and Trace reached an even smaller proportion of identified contacts of people who tested positive for Covid-19 in the last week for which data was published.

Today’s data release showed that in the week of 20-26 August, just 69.4% of 31,388 contacts were reached – a drop from 77.1% in the previous week, with the news coming amid a rise in confirmed cases.

This means that nearly 10,000 people (9,605) who spent time in close proximity to confirmed Covid cases were not reached in England during the week.

However, there was an increase to the proportion of people who tested positive who were reached by contact tracers from 75.2% to 81.4%.

During the same period, the number of people who newly tested positive rose by 6% from the previous week, to 6,732, while the number of people tested fell by 1%. The Government said this was the ’highest weekly number since the end of May’.

The time it took to return results increased for satelitte testing (kits sent out to people’s home), but decreased for in-person tests.

The news comes as the Government has also released demographic information for people who were tested for Covid-19 between 28 May and 26 August.

The data showed that white people and women were most likely to test positive, however the Government said this was likely not representative of the actual people in the community who had Covid as white people and women were more likely to get tested than minority ethnic and male people.