CIVIC chiefs in Hampshire are to roll out a local test-and-trace system in a bid to stop the spread of coronavirus.
Hampshire County Council and Southampton City Council will run their own operation from this week, writes Maria Zaccaro of the Local Democracy Reporting Service.
It means that where the national NHS Test and Trace service is unable to reach people who have tested positive for Covid-19, local call handlers will take over to contact residents who would need to self-isolate.
The news comes as the NHS Test and Trace has come under fire as an investigation revealed that, in some areas, just half of close-contacts given to England’s NHS Test and Trace were reached.
From the end of this week people in the Hampshire County Council area will receive a phone call from an 01962 number and be given self-isolation guidance. The exact date for the roll-out is yet to be revealed.
The authority urged residents who received a call from this number to answer the phone. The number will show up if the call is missed, so residents can call back.
HCC said in a statement: “Hampshire is one of many local authorities that has worked with NHS Test and Trace to set up a local tracing partnership which will begin rolling out across the county from the end of this week.
Where the national NHS Test and Trace service is unable to reach people who have tested positive within their usual timeframes, local call handlers will take over – calling from an 01962 number.
“Those who have tested positive will be asked to confirm their local contacts and will receive appropriate self-isolation guidance and any additional support they need.”
The council said the new system will play “a crucial role” in protecting communities in Hampshire.
It added: “Providing residents with access to prompt and convenient testing, and ensuring their close contacts are traced, is key to preventing further spread of the virus by breaking the chain of infection. We urge anyone who has tested positive to pick up if called.”