Bradford Council has launched its local COVID-19 contact tracing system to support the national NHS Test and Trace programme.

As rates of COVID-19 remain high in Bradford, local approaches are now being used to help the national system contain the spread of the virus, particularly in areas of the district where numbers of positive cases are high.

Contact tracing helps to identify people who are at high risk of infection because they have been in close contact with someone who tested positive for the virus.

Teams of volunteers and council staff will be working around the district to promote health messages, support residents on how to stay safe and will remind people of the hygiene guidelines which can limit the spread of the virus.

Volunteers will also distribute easy to use home-testing kits and provide detailed instructions on how to complete the test.

Tests will then be collected by volunteers once completed. If individuals test positive for COVID-19, this provides the local tracing team with valuable information on recognising potential virus hot-spots in local areas.

The local model was piloted in Leicester and a number of local authorities across England have started to implement the local system. The approach makes use of local experience, resources and knowledge to increase the number of people reached by Test and Trace.

Sarah Muckle, Director of Public Health at Bradford Council, said: “The virus is still out there and we have seen an increase in infection rates over the last few weeks in Bradford and so it’s imperative that we focus all our efforts in this next step to target those high-risk areas in order to rid us of COVID-19.

“All of our volunteers are fully trained and have a wealth of local knowledge which allows them to support the groups through face to face contact. As well as having these home testing kits we still have a good presence of testing units across Bradford district for everyone to use.”

For up to date information on COVID-19 guidelines and advice, visit Bradford Council’s coronavirus page here: https://www.bradford.gov.uk/health/health-advice-and-support/coronavirus-covid-19-advice/