Bradford Council is developing a local test and trace programme to contact people who can’t be reached through the national system.

Teams of local ‘contact tracers’ will support the national NHS tracing system by contacting people who have tested positive for coronavirus.

The tracers will ask a series of questions to people who test positive, which then helps to identify others they may have been in contact with.

Tracers will also provide advice for people who test positive on how to keep themselves and others safe by self-isolating.

The local test and trace programme is being developed following the national system failing to alert those who have been in contact with people who tested positive.

The local system is part of a local drive to embed testing and tracing across the Bradford. This will include testing people showing no symptoms, doorstep testing and setting up more drive-in and walk-in testing stations.

Bradford Council says the first local tracing teams will be running by mid-August.

Director of Public Health Sarah Muckle said: “The virus has not gone away and Bradford is one of the places placed on high alert because of the high number of cases we have.

“We know that the key to controlling COVID-19 is breaking the chain of transmission and that the best way to do that is to understand who has the virus and who they might have passed it to.

“Once we know that, we can ask those people to take themselves out of circulation so the virus has nowhere left go.

“A local test and trace programme run by local people supplementing the national NHS Test & Trace programme is absolutely critical to getting on top of COVID-19 and returning to normal life.”

The council will redeploy council workers to staff the programme and Full training for the role are being provided by Public Health England.