1. ITV Report

Tees Valley and North of Tyne regions at forefront of efforts to trace people with coronavirus

Areas of the North East will be at the forefront of efforts to trace people with coronavirus Credit: PA Images

Areas of the North East will be at the forefront of efforts to test and trace people with coronavirus in an effort to limit the spread of the infection.

The mayoral regions of the Tees Valley and the North of Tyne will receive money to support work at a grassroots level - with an emphasis on protecting vulnerable groups such as people in care homes.

The government has announced that £300 million will be distributed to local authorities across England to develop tailored outbreak control plans, working with the NHS and others locally.

Alongside care homes, the plans will focus on identifying and containing potential outbreaks in places such as workplaces, housing complexes and schools.

Eleven local authorities across the UK will share 'best practice' between communities across the country.

One of these is Newcastle - with Northumberland and North Tyneside - as lead authority for North of Tyne Mayoral Combined Authority.

Another is Middlesbrough - with Redcar and Cleveland - as lead authority for Tees Valley Mayoral Combined Authority.

Tess Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: ​“I am delighted to see our Local Authorities will be part of the Government’s new local test and trace programme to combat the coronavirus.

As Mayor, my number one priority is the health, wellbeing and safety of everyone in Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool. Testing and tracing is essential if we are to defeat the virus and having a local programme to do this is something I have been pushing for.​"​

– Ben Houchen, Tees Valley Mayor

The government says local efforts will support the national rollout of the Test and Trace Service, in which everyone "will need to play their part to stop the spread of coronavirus".