Coronavirus: Contact Tracing

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 4th November 2020.

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Photo of Justin Madders Justin Madders Shadow Minister (Health and Social Care)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will set out what constitutes a successful contact within the covid-19 test and trace system.

Photo of Helen Whately Helen Whately Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

The Test and Trace service, which launched in England on 28 May, identifies people at high risk of having been exposed to the virus through close recent contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and notifies them of the need to self-isolate. This is an important element in controlling the spread of the virus.

When someone who has tested positive shares information with NHS Test and Trace about a close recent contact, there are three possible outcomes as follows:

- Contact tracers successfully reach the individual and notify them of the need to self-isolate;

- Contact tracers are unable to contact the individual because no usable contact details have been provided, for example phone number or email address; and

- Contact tracers attempt to reach the individual, but there is no response to text, email and call reminders.

Since the service launched, 84% of all contacts for whom usable contact details were provided have been reached and notified of the need to self-isolate.

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