In-person coronavirus testing continues to deliver results

  • Despite an increase in tests this week, fewer people have tested positive and there have been fewer outbreaks or complex cases
  • New data shows that more than a million tests have now been carried out at care homes across the UK since the pandemic began

Statistics covering the 6th week of operation (2 to 8 July) of the NHS Test and Trace service have been published today, Thursday 16 July.

More than 155,000 people who may have been at risk of unknowingly spreading the virus have been reached by the service and asked to self-isolate.

The data continues to show that the majority of those testing positive were reached by NHS Test and Trace to identify their contacts in less than 24 hours.

96.4% of people tested in person at regional testing sites and mobile testing units received their tests the day after the test was taken. Work led by local authorities is also ongoing to increase the number of walk-through test sites available in communities for those that do not have access to cars to ensure even more people are able to access rapid in-person testing.

Statistics on the number of tests carried out on care home staff and residents since the pandemic began show that by 8 July, more than a million tests had been carried out, including as part of regular and routine testing in care homes.

Further changes have come into effect to make NHS Test and Trace more accessible to the public, with translation services available both when having a test and when speaking to contact tracers.

Signs in different languages at test sites inform people how to access translation support, while contact tracers at all levels of the service can dial in professional translators to support calls. Translation is now available in more than 200 languages, including Urdu, Punjabi, Bengali, Gujarati, Mandarin, Polish and British Sign Language.

Executive Chair of NHS Test and Trace, Dido Harding, said:

Each week there have been sustained improvements in NHS Test and Trace to reach more people and help stop those who may have been in contact with the virus unknowingly passing it on. We have made testing and tracing quicker and more accessible, and we remain committed to develop the service further over the coming months.

I want to thank the hundreds of thousands of people across England who are getting a test if they had symptoms, responding to the service if they tested positive, and listening to advice to self-isolate if they have been in contact with the virus. I continue to urge anyone contacted by NHS Test and Trace to follow the advice they receive to protect their families and communities.

Efforts to improve and build on NHS Test and Trace continues, from the time test results are delivered, to how contact tracers reach those who may unknowingly be at risk of passing the virus on.

A multidisciplinary team based in Newcastle, including NHS clinical contact tracers, are working closely with some of the country’s best behavioural scientists, to find new ways to engage the public and stop transmission.

Overall the data from the 6th week of operation (2 July to 8 July) of NHS Test and Trace shows that:

  • 78.7% (2,815) of the people who had tested positive for coronavirus and were transferred to NHS Test and Trace were reached by

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