Public Health

10.07.20

NHS Test and Trace data shows 97.5% of tests returned the next day

As NHS Test and Trace have published the statistics for the fifth week of the service operating, demonstrating that 97.5% of in-person coronavirus tests were returned the day after the test was taken.

The dataset for the week of June 25 to July 1 also showed 91% of in-person tests taken at regional test site and mobile testing units were returned in less than 24 hours.

Compared with earlier statistics from May, the newly-published data demonstrates a huge improvement in the turnaround times of test results. At the end of May, just 16.6% of regional test sites and 2.5% of tests at mobile testing units were being returned in under 24 hours.

NHS Test and Trace also announced they had reached more than 144,000 people who may have been at risk of unknowingly spreading the virus and recommended they self-isolate.

The service is also set to work with partners on a new pilot scheme to evaluate the effectiveness of testing asymptomatic people who work in high-contact professions, such as taxi drivers, cleaners and retail assistants in order to determine if there is demand for testing among these kinds of workers and how they are affected by the virus.

This targeted, asymptomatic swab testing will take place as part of a close partnership with government, local authorities and a number of employers, with tens of thousands of tests offered to selected groups.

Executive Chair of NHS Test and Trace, Dido Harding, said: “We are committed to continually improving NHS Test and Trace, to reach more people at risk of passing the virus on as quickly as possible.

“This week we have seen test turnaround times improve further, with the majority of positive cases reached by contact tracers in under 24 hours. Anyone with symptoms can easily book a test, expect rapid results, and will hear promptly from NHS Test and Trace if they are tested positive.

“I continue to applaud all those who have played their part, got a test after experiencing symptoms, and responded to the service. I urge anyone contacted by NHS Test and Trace to follow the advice they receive to protect their families and communities.”

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