Redbridge’s Covid contact tracing performance drops again as borough moves to high restrictions

Redbridge has seen its Covid contact tracing rate fall once again, new figures reveal, as the borough and all of London moves to Tier 2 high restrictions starting at midnight (Friday, October 16).

Both Ilford MPs have called for a circuit breaker lockdown amid another surge in positive cases as the current infection rate in the borough is 137 per 100,000 as of positive cases through October 12.

Data from the Department for Health and Social care shows 1,329 people who tested positive for Covid-19 in Redbridge were transferred to the Test and Trace service between May 28 and October 7.

The service asks these patients to give details for anyone they were in close contact with in the 48 hours before their symptoms started.

In Redbridge, 2,828 close contacts were identified – also referred to as “non-complex” cases, meaning they could be dealt with through a call centre or online.

But just 56.1 percent were reached by contact tracers over the period.

In Redbridge, 398 new cases were transferred to test and trace in the latest week, NHS figures show.

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There have been 11 coronavirus deaths at Barking, Havering and Redbridge Trust in the last week, putting it as the 10th-highest death toll among all 189 trusts in England.

The key element of the new Tier 2 restrictions is that you are not allowed to meet socially with friends and family indoors in any setting unless you live with them or have formed a support bubble with them.

Indoor settings include private homes and any other indoor venues such as pubs and restaurants.

A support bubble is where a household with one adult joins with another household. Households in that support bubble can still visit each other, stay overnight, and visit public places together.

Informal childcare can also be provided via childcare bubbles.

Council leader Jas Athwal said throughout the pandemic the community in Redbridge has shown tremendous strength, empathy and determination.

“We must all follow the scientific advice and make sure that we do everything we can to get the infection rate down and to keep people safe. I’m afraid this will take a lot of sacrifice on our part and mean not mixing with people from other homes indoors or meeting our friends for a coffee or a meal inside.

“We must also continue wearing our masks in enclosed spaces like shops and on public transport, washing our hands, practicing social distancing, and getting tested if we have any COVID-19 symptoms.

“As a council, we’ll continue working with the Mayor of London and lobbying government for funding and resources to meet the public health and economic challenges that we continue to face.”

Rules under Tier 2 are as follows:

•people must not meet with anybody outside their household or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place

•people must not meet in a group of more than 6 outside, including in a garden or other space

•people should aim to reduce the number of journeys they make where possible. If they need to travel, they should walk or cycle where possible, or plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport

These measures will be reviewed every 14 days to consider whether they are still appropriate.