Change to counting method sees Test and Trace figures rise

The proportion of close contacts reached by England’s Test and Trace system has jumped after contact tracers stopped trying to reach all under-18s individually.

Some 72.5% of people who have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19 were reported as having been reached in the week to November 25.

The rise, from 60.5% in the week ending November 18, comes as under-18s are no longer all being traced individually.

Instead a parent or guardian in the household is asked to confirm they have told the child to self-isolate, and if they have done so the child is recorded as having been reached.

If no parental permission is provided, the usual contact-tracing routes are followed.

The latest Test and Trace report shows that, six months after being launched, the system is not reaching more than a quarter of close contacts of coronavirus cases.

The figures show 110,620 people tested positive for Covid-19 in England at least once in the week to November 25.

This is down 28% on the previous week and is the lowest total since the week ending October 14.

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