Coronavirus test and trace services get £3m boost in Northamptonshire

More than £3 million has been awarded to Northamptonshire County Council to support local test and trace services and deal with any local coronavirus outbreaks.
The funding has been awarded to Northamptonshire County Council.The funding has been awarded to Northamptonshire County Council.
The funding has been awarded to Northamptonshire County Council.

The sum of £3,270,065 is part of a £300 million Government package for local authorities to develop plans to reduce the spread of the virus in their area.

The plans will focus on identifying and containing potential outbreaks in places such as workplaces, housing complexes, care homes and schools.

It was revealed last week by the Local Democracy Reporting Service that there had been outbreaks at the Arnold House children’s home in Northampton, where 13 staff and three children had tested positive for coronavirus.

The funding will require councils to ensure testing capacity is deployed effectively to ‘high-risk’ locations, with the authority working on this with the test and trace service, local NHS and other partners.

Data on the virus’s spread will then be shared with local authorities through the Joint Biosecurity Centre to inform local outbreak planning, so teams understand how the virus is moving.

People who have tested positive for COVID-19 are being contacted by the NHS test and trace service, and are then asked where they have gone and who they may have visited recently.

Anyone who may have been in contact with the person is then messaged and, if necessary, told to self isolate for 14 days.

The £300 million funding for local authorities was announced back in May, but the allocation for each council was only made public yesterday (June 11). The county council will receive the funds in one lump sum this month.

Announcing the funding back in May, Nadine Dorries MP, a minister for patient safety, suicide prevention and mental health, said: “Local authorities will be vital in the effort to contain COVID-19 at a community level. The pandemic requires a national effort but that will only be effective as a result of local authorities, working hand in hand with Public Health England and contact tracers to focus on the containment of local outbreaks, in order to control the transmission and the spread of the virus.”