Approximately 97.5% of in person tests for coronavirus are returned the day after the test is taken, statistics released by NHS England have shown.
Around 91% of in-person tests taken at regional test sites and mobile testing units were returned in less than 24 hours over the week of 25 June to 1 July. At the end of May, 16.6% of tests at regional test sites and 2.5% of tests at mobile testing units were returned in under 24 hours. More than 144,000 people who may have been at risk of unknowingly spreading the virus have been reached by the service and asked to self-isolate.
‘We are committed to continually improving NHS Test and Trace, to reach more people at risk of passing the virus on as quickly as possible. This week we have seen test turnaround times improve further, with the majority of positive cases reached by contact tracers in under 24 hours. Anyone with symptoms can easily book a test, expect rapid results, and will hear promptly from NHS Test and Trace if they are tested positive,’ said Executive Chair of NHS Test and Trace, Dido Harding.
Despite an increase in tests processed, fewer people have tested positive, and there have been fewer outbreaks or complex cases. Overall, this has meant that fewer people have had to be escalated through the 3-tiered contact-tracing system. But contact tracers dealing with non-complex cases have found that as social distancing has been eased, people who test positive are then identifying a higher number of close contacts.
‘I continue to applaud all those who have played their part, got a test after experiencing symptoms, and responded to the service. I urge anyone contacted by NHS Test and Trace to follow the advice they receive to protect their families and communities,’ added Ms Harding.