Cheshire East Council and NHS Test and Trace have launched a new pilot scheme aimed at reaching individuals, who have tested positive for coronavirus, sooner.
Known as 'Local-0' (zero), the council says this new joint initiative will help them to contact positive cases faster by bringing them into the local team right from the start of the tracing journey, at the same time the case is entered into the national NHS Test and Trace system.
Through this new approach, the council will now contact the individual directly rather than the national service and will be responsible for instructing the individual to self-isolate. Local contact tracers are also able to provide instructions and support to people, who have tested positive and for members of their households, who have to self-isolate.
As part of the NHS Test and Trace programme, Cheshire East Council will continue to trace the contacts of individuals, who have tested positive and their contacts by providing support throughout the process.
The new pilot scheme is designed to help ensure that Cheshire East Council is able to use local knowledge and expertise to determine where people may have caught the virus, which will help identify possible local outbreaks.
Dr Matt Tyrer, Cheshire East Council's director of public health, said: "Stopping the spread of Covid-19 demands a collaborative effort and taking part in the Local-0 pilot further supports the collective effort to tackle the spread of the virus.
"Our partnership with NHS Test and Trace allows us to offer effective support to people when self-isolating, many of whom might otherwise unknowingly spread the virus.
"The Local-0 pilot, in combination with the work the council is already doing to help keep residents safe – such as offering regular rapid testing within the community, workplaces and care homes – will help with the return to a normal way of life in the borough."