A new coronavirus contact tracing system has been rolled out across Hertfordshire.

Hertfordshire County Council has developed and launched the system, which will see council staff support efforts to locate people who have come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

A pilot contact tracing initiative has been up-and-running in Three Rivers and Watford since September 15, but the county council expects this and the wider county service to merge.

How does the new county wide tracing system work?

If the NHS Track and Trace service is unable to contact you after one day, your details will be passed to the new Hertfordshire County Council contact tracing team.

The local contact tracing team will receive a list of people to contact every day at midday and is granted access to the national system, in which to input the required information.

If the local contact tracing team can’t contact you by phone after another 24 hours, that information will be passed to the district and borough council teams who will visit your address to speak to you.

You will be provided with a local number to call, so the service can obtain details of your ‘contacts’ to update the national test and trace system (from there the national process and service picks back up to contact the people you’ve been in contact with).

Jim McManus, Director of Public Health at Hertfordshire County Council, said:

“Our local contact tracing service exists to support the national test and trace system, and the pilot initiative is already showing the benefits as people have been contacted that the national system couldn’t reach.

“Test and trace is an extremely important part of the national strategy to get coronavirus under control. Our service complements the national system because we have the local knowledge of the county, and we’re able to go to people’s homes to make sure they are aware of what they need to do. We can also refer anybody who needs to self-isolate to local support services if necessary.

“As always, all positive cases are being followed up by the NHS Test and Trace service. For it to be effective in preventing the spread of the virus, people need to provide details of their close contacts. Any close contacts who hear from the service must follow the advice and self-isolate to contain the virus and protect others.”