Essex Covid-19 contact tracing service sets a milestone with over 100,000 contacts – rating among the top in the east of England, both in terms of contacts and cases. This has been achieved despite the services seeing a quadrupling of cases coming in since the start of December.
The milestone has been achieved as a result of an outstanding partnership between Essex County Council, district, city and borough councils and Public Health England and all have agreed that the contact tracing service is a key element in containing the virus by getting to people quickly.
The ask now of residents is to be as open with us as possible about people you have been in contact with, and to stick to the key rules of hands, face and space.
Essex County Council’s (ECC) Covid-19 contact tracing service is continuing to successfully contact significant numbers of Covid-19 cases and their contacts, despite a quadrupling of positive cases coming into the service since the start of December.
The service, was set up in June 2020 and is currently one of the top performing local contact tracing services in the East of England region – dealing with up to six times the amount of cases as neighbouring Local Authorities.
It currently supports national contact tracing efforts, where these have been unsuccessful, by applying local expertise and knowledge to trace individuals who have tested positive for Covid- 19 and anyone who may have come into contact with them to break the chain of transmission.
In the four-week period from 13 December 2020, Essex had 56,089 cases and successfully closed 87 per cent and 102,810 contacts successfully closing 98 per cent
Between 28 December 2020 to 3 January 2021, the service communicated with 8,701 contacts of cases alone, reminding them of the need to isolate, offering support and asking them to get a test.
Cllr John Spence, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults and Health, said: “I am immensely proud of our local Covid-19 contact tracing service which is an integral part of our approach to containing the virus here in Essex.
“Colleagues are continuing to work tirelessly to help break the chain of transmission as quickly as possible and the numbers of completed cases speak for themselves.
“Our success in Essex is absolutely a system-wide effort which has taken the combined support of NHS and city, borough and district council partners.
“I urge anyone who is contacted by the local contact tracing service to please follow their advice – the actions you take as an identified contact will be the difference in preventing further spread of the virus.
“This, as well as everyone continuing to follow the guidance around hands, face and space, is incredibly important now more than ever due to the ferocity with which the new variant is spreading.”
The local contact tracing service in Essex now has over 65 staff helping to give advice and support to residents and their contacts that have tested positive, as well as supporting Essex care homes, schools, businesses and health care providers to manage outbreaks.
ECC is also continuing to work with environmental health officers at districts councils who are providing their expertise and helping to identify any remaining positive cases to ensure those people take swift action to self-isolate and have the support they need to do so.
The county council recently provided an additional £1.1m on top of the £900K to support these efforts, as well as further inventions such as Covid marshals and support for business compliance.
Individuals are reminded that if they are approached by the local Covid-19 contact tracing service, it is vital they follow the advice given and self-isolate immediately.
ECC has provided £3million additional funding to city, districts and boroughs in the county to help local people who need to self-isolate and who are unable to work. The £500 grant per resident will be a one-off payment to cover the 10-day period of self-isolation.
More information, advice and guidance for residents and businesses is available on the ECC coronavirus hub: https://www.essex.gov.uk/topic/coronavirus