Kensington and Chelsea council staff trying to trace those NHS cannot reach

By Julia Gregory, Local Democracy Reporter

Council staff will be working hard to contact people who test positive for coronavirus, in order to help stop the virus spreading.

The NHS Test and Trace service is primarily tasked with calling people who test positive for Covid-19, to ask who else they have come into contact with and may have exposed to the virus.

But Kensington and Chelsea council’s public health department is also aiming to contact the 20 to 30 per cent of people who do not respond to the NHS’s Test and Trace calls.

The idea is that people can get local public health advice and support while giving details about their recent contacts, in a bid to prevent another coronavirus spike.

The borough recently saw a worrying increase in cases, which led council leader Elizabeth Campbell to urge people “let’s not throw away the hard work and sacrifices made by so many during lockdown”.

She said no-one wanted a local lockdown.

In the seven days to September 12 there were 15.5 new cases per 100,000 people.

Kensington and Chelsea’s director of public health, Russell Styles, advised the borough’s care homes to shut their doors to visitors as the number of cases rose.

The borough, which has the smallest population of any local authority in London, has seen 777 confirmed cases since the pandemic began.

The council is currently training staff to do the enhanced contact tracing in the borough and expects them to take up their roles soon.

It is also working with community and faith groups to get the key public health messages to people in as many languages as possible.


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