Coronavirus: Contact Tracing

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 15th October 2020.

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Photo of Lord Birt Lord Birt Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government what insights they have gathered from the NHS COVID-19 Test and Trace service about the main circumstances in which the virus is transmitted.

Photo of Lord Bethell Lord Bethell The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

To help understand the circumstances in which COVID-19 is transmitted, a wide variety of real-time data at both local and national level is published in the Weekly COVID19 Surveillance Report in an online only format on GOV.UK.

The virus is transmitted when a contact spends time with someone who has COVID-19. This includes face-to-face contact (for one minute), being coughed on, or spending more than 15 minutes within two metres of someone with COVID-19. While those who test positive cannot say for certain where they picked up the infection, they can indicate possible places. Data from 13 to 20 September, shows the most common potential event, positive cases indicated where they may have picked up the virus as; eating out (14.6%), followed by shopping (13.4%). Then for contacts of a known positive case this was indicated from within households (59.8%), followed by visiting the positive case in their household (13.7%).

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