How to get a Covid test in Devon if the system doesn’t give you a local slot – and news about local contact tracing

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From statement by Cllr John Hart, Leader of Devon County Council: ‘There have been some recent problems with access to COVID-19 testing. This is not unique to Devon and is a result of national laboratory capacity being stretched and having to prioritise analysing tests for areas with a higher prevalence of COVID-19 cases. We have put additional local arrangements in place to boost local testing availability until national capacity can be increased. We are asking Devon residents to book a test as normal via the government website. However, if they are unable to book a local slot then they can email d-cg.devon.urgenttesting@nhs.net and they will be supported to access local testing.

The Devon contact tracing system

‘Currently some local authorities are piloting local contact tracing services (for example Swindon) but the approach in Devon has been to second three members of its public health team part-time to Public Health England to support their contact tracing, which is working well.

‘At present, the national NHS led Test & Trace system is performing well for Devon. For Devon, since its launch to 16th August, 86% of people were reached by Test & Trace which is one of the best in the country (15th out of 150 nationally), and 68% of close contacts were identified (21st out of 150 nationally).

‘These rates have improved locally and nationally in recent weeks, so the figures for Devon will be higher again although they are not available yet. Complex cases are referred to the Public Health England Local Health Protection Team for follow-up: they are currently reaching 100% of cases.’

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