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Kent coronavirus test and trace system set to go live tomorrow

A Kent test and trace scheme is being launched tomorrow to help locate people who have tested positive for Covid-19.

It will see KCC-commissioned call handlers help contact people that the government's Test and Trace system has not been able to reach within 24 hours.

A local test and trace scheme is being launched tomorrow to help support the national programme. Picture: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
A local test and trace scheme is being launched tomorrow to help support the national programme. Picture: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

The advisors will also be able to advise those they contact on isolation and testing, establishing close contacts, and uploading details to the National Contact Tracing system.

They will also be able to signpost them to available assistance, such as financial aid, or help receiving food and medication.

The county council is also working with the Department of Health and Social Care regarding targeted wider asymptomatic testing for coronavirus.

It was today announced that all of Kent and Medway will be placed in Tier 3 - the highest restriction level in the country -following the easing of national lockdown on December 2.

KCC's director of public health, Andrew Scott-Clark said that while establishing a local test and trace system and mass testing are "an important part of managing the pandemic, it is not the solution".

He added: "Any testing needs to be alongside all the other public health measures such as social distancing, wearing masks and washing hands.

“We have been in a national restrictions for two weeks and those high figures from before lockdown are now starting to level off, so we are encouraged that the majority of people are doing the right thing by minimising their social interactions at home and carefully following social distancing guidelines when they are out.

"But it’s really important that we protect the most at risk people among our older residents, and this needs to happen now if we want to see restrictions eased further.”

KCC and Medway Council continue to work closely with partners from central Government, the district and borough councils in Kent, the NHS and Public Health England.

Leader of KCC, Roger Gough added: “We know that Kent’s hospitals are getting busier – not just from Covid cases but because of normal winter pressures – so we need to help the NHS too and the main thing people can do is to follow the national restrictions and self-isolate if they have symptoms or have been advised to self-isolate.

"If you have symptoms, book a test. Play your part to help protect Kent and Medway – more information at www.kent.gov.uk/protectkent.”

To keep up-to-date with all the latest developments with your local hospitals and other health stories, click here.

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