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Covid latest: Contact tracing teams adapt as active cases hit 678

Covid latest: Contact tracing teams adapt as active cases hit 678

Tuesday 23 November 2021

Covid latest: Contact tracing teams adapt as active cases hit 678

The States' contact tracing team has been asking for more help from the public as it tries to cope with an increase in cases from fewer than 300 a fortnight ago to nearly 700 today.

The latest figures, released this afternoon, showed 161 new cases and 61 recoveries. There are now 678 active cases. That is nearly twice as many as there were when the Chairman of the Civil Contingencies Authority, Deputy Peter Ferbrache, warned that the island's "capacity to track and trace active cases per day is at its maximum threshold".

The growth in cases is inevitably putting considerable pressure on the States' limited resources. In some cases, the public is being asked to play a more active role assisting with tracing contacts of positive cases. Dr Nicola Brink, Director of Public Health, said this additional assistance was welcome and valuable.

“We are..., where appropriate, sometimes asking positive cases to work more closely with us,” said Dr Brink.

“For example, there are times where a larger group or event attendees need to be contacted following an identification of a positive case which can be done effectively by the organiser rather than by contact tracing staff.

"Event organisers and businesses have been very helpful to us in such cases and our thanks go to them.”


Pictured: Dr Nicola Brink has thanked the public for responding helpfully to requests to play a more active role assisting the contact tracing team.

Contact tracers have also been asking some people who have received positive tests to identify their own contacts. This allows them to focus on more complex cases.

“This is part of an ongoing process of responding and adapting to the changing situation of the pandemic which the contact tracing team has done since the beginning,” said Dr Brink.

“In the first wave, the focus was entirely on individual contact tracers working through a lengthy and detailed process with each individual positive case. This process is best suited to when there are low numbers and the strategy is aimed at eliminating the virus.

“In the second wave we introduced other measures, such as issuing wider public messages to all those who had attended an event where there had been cases to voluntarily isolate. This proved effective in helping to break the chain of transmission even more quickly and reach potential contacts who might otherwise be missed.

“We continue to adapt our processes in response to the rise in cases we are seeing now and to reflect our high vaccination take up and our focus on ‘living responsibly with covid'."

Pictured: The latest testing figures were released by the States this afternoon.

Dr Brink also welcomed support from "very good public use of lateral flow tests". She said this helped to reduce the number of people who needed to be traced. 

People aged 12 or over who have had positive lateral flow tests are now able to have a PCR test at a drop-in facility at the East held on weekday mornings.

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