Covid: NHS test and trace records highest week ever as more than 650,000 told to isolate

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More than half a million people have been contacted by NHS test and trace and told to isolate over the festive period - the highest record ever.

In total during the week of 24 – 30 December, 684,747 people who had tested positive for Covid-19 and their contacts were reached and told to self-isolate, according to the Department of Health and Social Care.

A total of 311,372 people tested positive for Covid-19 in England at least once in the week to December 30, according to the latest Test and Trace figures.

This is up 24% on the previous week and is the highest weekly total since Test and Trace began in May.

The number of contacts identified is now more than double the number at the end of November. 

Covid-19 testing Credit: ITV Anglia

Of the 269,886 people transferred to the Test and Trace system in the week to December 30, 84.9% were reached and asked to provide details of recent close contacts.

This is down from 86.4% in the previous week and is the lowest percentage since the week to October 28.

Some 13.9% of people transferred to Test and Trace in the week to December 30 were not reached while a further 1.3% did not provide any communication details.

Interim Executive Chair of the National Institute for Health Protection Baroness Dido Harding said: "The dedicated men and women working for NHS Test and Trace have performed an incredible feat this Christmas.

"By working together, they ensured that anyone who needed a test could get one, test turnaround times were reduced, and the vast majority of people who tested positive and their contacts were successfully reached and told to self-isolate.

"Although we begin 2021 amid tough restrictions across the country, we also start the year armed with a stronger and more efficient service than ever before."