House calls will be last resort to check on those testing positive for Covid-19

Council officials will conduct house calls across Cambridgeshire to check that those who have tested positive for Covid-19 are self-isolating.

The visits will be a last resort if all other efforts to reach affected people have failed.

The county council has reached agreement with district councils – including Fenland and East Cambridgeshire – following a trial run by Peterborough City Council.

More than 350 cases have so far been passed to the city council from the national system and they have successfully contacted 83 per cent of them.

A county council spokesperson said they will be working closely with NHS Test and Trace to contact those who have tested positive for Covid-19.

“We will give them help, advice and support to self-isolate, in a further bid to crack down on the pandemic,” said the spokesperson.

“Officers from each of the councils who have undergone special training in contact tracing, will be following up on people who have tested positive for Covid-19 but have not responded to a call or email from the national service, and will ask them for details of their close contacts.”

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Council officers will initially make contact by phone, text or email asking people to call a local number.

“If this fails, the officers, who will all carry local authority identification - will make house to house visits to reach those people who have tested positive,” said the spokesperson.

“They will be given advice and support on how they can stay isolated to break the chain of infection, and prevent it spreading to their household contacts.

“They will also be asked to share details of others they have been in contact with.”

Dr Liz Robin, Director of Public Health for Cambridgeshire, said: “We know that the quicker we can reach people who’ve tested positive and get them to isolate - and to share details of who they’ve been in contact with - the quicker we can break the chain of infection.

“National Test and Trace isn’t always able to do this fast enough - and some people don’t respond to the national text and telephone system - so we’ve asked Public Health England to let us take this on locally, as we know our communities best.”