Calderdale Council has been selected to take part in a national pilot, in partnership with NHS Test and Trace, to expand its local contact tracing service.
Calderdale is one of only two local authorities nationally to be selected to take part in a new programme allowing local teams to follow up contacts of COVID cases, where the national team has been unsuccessful.
Contact tracing is an important part of any approach to prevent and control COVID-19. Since August 2020, Calderdale has been carrying out local contact tracing to enhance and support national test and trace.
Currently, the Council receives information from NHS Test and Trace about residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 and haven’t been reached by the national Test and Trace service within 24 hours. Local contact tracers then attempt to get in touch with the COVID case and identify people they may have infected – these people are known as contacts. The details of these contacts are then passed back to the national system so they can advise them of their legal duty to self-isolate.
As part of the new pilot, any contacts that cannot be reached by the national team within 24 hours will be passed back to the Council’s local team. Local contact tracers will then use text messages, telephone and home visits to attempt to reach the contacts and provide information on the support available to enable them to self-isolate, reminding them of the legal requirement to do so.
This expanded local service will further complement the national system and build on the success of the existing local contact tracing service. There have already been notable examples of where the local contact tracers have been able to use their local knowledge and expertise to identify hard-to-reach contacts as well as possible routes of transmission and outbreaks.
Local contact tracers may also be able to offer more specific advice on support available locally and the use of local rate, 01422 numbers makes it more likely that calls will be answered and easier if anyone needs to call back.
Partnership work continues across Calderdale to help control COVID-19, such as engaging with and supporting communities, particularly in areas with high infection rates; increasing and improving access to testing; ensuring that those most at risk from COVID-19 are offered a vaccine; carrying out local contact tracing; supporting people to enable them to self-isolate; engaging with businesses and helping them to be COVID-secure; and enforcing COVID-19 restrictions where necessary.
Everyone can play their part by staying at home and avoiding contact, wearing a face covering unless they are medically exempt, and self-isolating if they test positive or are a contact.
For up-to-date and reliable information about COVID-19, use trusted sources such as: