Cheshire leaders plan for local test and trace system

Female shopper wearing a face covering1

Leaders from Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester, Warrington and Halton Council, the Police and Crime Commissioner, the Chair of the Local Enterprise Partnership, and their senior officers, met on Monday, 2nd November, to assess the implications of this weekend's announcement by the Prime Minister.

The Outbreak Coordination Group which overseas Cheshire's response to covid-19 strongly endorse the renewed message to Stay At Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives.

The Chair of the Leaders Board, Councillor Sam Corcoran, said: "We have spoken out over the last eight months, when the government was slow to act, failed to deliver critical support, relied too heavily on opaque national commercial contracts, didn't provide enough certainty to protect jobs and businesses, and made announcements without proper consultation with local government. But, given where we now are, the pressures on our NHS, and the advice of national and local public health experts, we support the government's decision to introduce a time-limited national lockdown."

Speaking about an effective system for testing, contact tracing, and support to isolate being a precondition for a successful exit, the Outbreak Coordination Group believe a localised system has been demonstrated to deliver more success at containing the virus than the national system which still contains significant gaps.

Therefore the group agreed to bring forward a detailed plan for a localised test, trace and isolate system, to be fully operational at the conclusion of the lockdown period, enabling local businesses to re-open as soon as it is safe to do so.

Councillor Louise Gittins, Chair of the Outbreak Coordination Group which overseas Cheshire's response to covid-19, added "We now need to use this time to make a difference beyond November. We need an exit strategy. By using this time to put in place the right local and national systems, we can put ourselves in a better position to keep the virus under control through Christmas and into 2021."



Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Mark Russell
Tuesday 3rd November 2020 at 7:27 am
These people can’t even lead the area in normal times so what makes them think they can run something as complicated as this? This has got disaster written all over it.
Ian Moffitt
Tuesday 3rd November 2020 at 2:03 pm
Unfortunately based on my own experience of catching Covid I can't see how any of this will work.

I had a raised temperature on Saturday and Sunday, then had a cough which made me book a test for Monday. The results took until Wednesday evening and then test and trace didn't contact me until Friday. They then didn't contact the rest of the family until Sunday. All they seemed to offer was advice on how to isolate. They weren't interested about where we'd been or who we'd met. The email I received stated that I needed to isolate for 10 days from the start of symptoms and the text stated that I needed to isolate for 14 days from the date of the test. Guess which one I went for?
Kathryn Blackburn
Wednesday 4th November 2020 at 11:00 am
Since between 25% and 45% of cases are still caught within hospital
And the majority of the cases in CE we see now were caught within the Care Home sector. Eight months on.
We don't seem to have locked either sector down too well do we Councillors ?
Gillian Slater
Thursday 5th November 2020 at 10:17 am
Ian Moffitt i have no idea which one you went for BUT are you alright now?
Ian Moffitt
Thursday 5th November 2020 at 2:46 pm
Thanks Gillian. One thing this crisis has brought out is a lot of kindness to each other. My comment was pointing out how relying on test and trace as an exit strategy is flawed. With 70-80% not showing any signs, the delay in getting the results back and the follow up tracing not tracking or tracing it just seems a monumental waste of time and resources.

Still coughing though after 4 weeks which is obviously a bit scary for people. I've had a few people step away from me looking petrified.
Diane Holcroft
Saturday 7th November 2020 at 7:09 am
Ian Moffitt glad you are on the mend and I’m assuming you pulled through because you are generally in good health with no serious underlying health issues. This virus being a new strain which has lingering symptoms but it’s still a type of flu which is contagious like any virus in my opinion. Contact tracing was never done in previous years during flu season and never the media coverage like this before. This puzzles me.