Test and Trace figures: How many were contacted by Test and Trace this week? | UK | News (Reports)


Today (October 29) the Government published the latest figures for the NHS Test and Trace system in England. The report covers the weekly coronavirus testing statistics for October 15 to October 21.

How many were contacted by Test and Trace this week?

The most recent report on the NHS Test and Trace system outlines 126,065 people tested positive for COVID-19 in England between October 15 and October 21.

Up 25 percent since last week, 120,442 were transferred to the Test and Trace system.

Of those transferred to the contact-tracing system, 80.5 percent were reached and asked about close contacts.

This is a similar percentage to the last three weeks, but the percentage has declined since the start of September.

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Between October 15 and October 21, 284,701 people were identified as coming into close contact with someone who tested positive for the virus – this is a 12 percent increase from the week before.

For those who had communication details available, 74.3 percent of those identified as contacts were reached and asked to self-isolate.

Taking into account all of the close contacts identified, 60.3 percent of contacts were reached.

Testing capacity increased from October 15 to October 21 by five percent, compared to the previous week.

According to the latest report, testing capacity throughout the period stood at 3,237,994.

During this period, 1,519,977 people were tested for coronavirus at least once – a six percent increase on the previous week.

But the report acknowledges there has been a “downward trend” in the number of people getting their test results back within 24 hours.

The report states: “In the most recent week, for in-person tests (local test sites, mobile testing units and regional test sites), 22.6 percent were received within 24 hours compared to 13.7 percent in the previous week.

“There has been a downward trend in the percentage of in-person test results received within 24 hours since the end of June when 92.6 percent were received within this time frame.”

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Does the Test and Trace system work?

The NHS Test and Trace system has frequently been the subject of criticism since its establishment in May.

Similar to this week’s figures, last week less than 60 percent of those identified as close contacts to someone who tested positive were reached by Test and Trace.

The system is also facing criticism for the delays in getting test results back within a 24-hour window.

At a Downing Street press conference last week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he shared the public’s “frustrations” about the Test and Trace system, which has been allocated £12billion to fund.

Mr Johnson said: “I share people’s frustrations and I understand totally why we do need to see faster turnaround times and we need to improve it.

“We need to make sure that people who do get a positive test self-isolate – that’s absolutely crucial if this thing is going to work in the way that it can.”

Interim executive chair of the National Institute for Health Protection, Baroness Dido Harding, acknowledged “there is more to be done” to improve the Test and Trace system.

Baroness Harding said: “As the number of cases rise, we are seeing NHS Test and Trace processing more tests and reaching more people than ever before.

“We are expanding the reach of our service and improving performance in key areas such as turnaround times for tests as we continue to increase capacity, but we recognise there is more to be done.

“We are working hard to meet these increased demands whilst improving the service we offer to the public.”


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