Blackburn with Darwen council launches local coronavirus contact tracing scheme

Blackburn with Darwen has launched a locally supported coronavirus contact tracing scheme. Credit: ITV News

Blackburn with Darwen Council has launched its own Covid-19 contract tracing scheme, in partnership with Public Health England.

The Council says that they will use their local knowledge to trace someone, who has been in contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus, if the national NHS Track and Trace programme cannot reach them within two days.

If the national system cannot make contact with a local resident after two days, their details will be passed onto the local service to help find additional contacts.

The Council have said that residents will be visited by a local 'Contact Tracing Team' if they still can't be reached via email, phone or text within 48 hours.

Paul Fleming, Director of Business Change and the senior officer leading the development of the new system, said: "Test and trace is a vital part of the national strategy to get the virus under control. It is even more vital in areas like ours where we have a rising tide of cases.

"Our system complements the national system because we have the local knowledge of the area and the ability to send officers round to people's address. Our system is also beneficial because we can refer those who need to isolate to local support services if necessary."

He added that the council had already reached people the national system could not.

Mobile testing units have been set up in Blackburn to deal with the rise in cases there. Credit: Peter Byrne/PA

Last week Blackburn with Darwen was put under new lockdown restrictions following a spike in cases in the borough.

A few weeks ago the town's public health director warned that the town was facing a "rising tide of infections".

Today scientists warned that the test and trace needed to be scaled up to allow schools to re-open and to avoid a second-wave in the UK.

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