York Test and Trace update


1.0 Testing

Our revised lateral flow testing strategy comes into effect from Wednesday 7th April.  This will see previous eligibility criteria for lateral flow tests change so that anyone that wants to be able to access lateral flow tests can.  The only group that we do not recommend use of regular testing for is children below secondary school age.

We continue with our existing three asymptomatic test sites at the University of York, York St John University and the Leisure Complex at the Community Stadium.  We are also opening a fourth testing site at Foxwood Community Centre on 12th April.  At all of our sites it will be possible to have a test taken and processed at the site, as well as collect test kits for use at home.  Staff at all of the sites will be able to talk people through the testing process if they would like to undertake home testing but require more guidance.

Working in partnership with MacArthur Glen Outlet Centre, we have also opened a staff testing facility within the centre in order to ensure staff can access testing, in order to give confidence to shoppers returning to the centre when non-essential retail opens.  We are exploring a city centre testing facility aimed more at visitors to the City.


Testing Data

Resident Testing

The above graph shows the number of tests being carried out on residents on a weekly basis at each of the three asymptomatic testing sites.  This excludes university or school pupils being tested at these sites.






University Student Testing



The above graph shows the number of tests carried out by week on university students and staff and secondary school pupils and all school staff.  Prior to 1st March, testing for schools was only for staff in primary and secondary schools.  From 1st March, prior to the return to school, secondary school pupils were asked to be tested.  From 15th March, secondary school pupils have been provided with lateral flow tests to undertake regular home testing.

The positivity rate in lateral flow tests currently stands at 0.1%.  During the time period above, it has ranged from 0.1 – 0.7%



Businesses are able to register to undertake testing of their workforce.  A number of businesses in York have taken this up.  In the week of 29h March – 1st April, a further 3,318 lateral flow tests were carried out on York residents through other work based programmes.


2.0 Contact Tracing


York commenced contact tracing of covid cases on 22nd October.  Initially this was 24 hours after the national track and trace service had attempted to get in touch with an individual.  On 10th March, contact tracing of all cases by the local York Contact Tracing Service commenced at zero hours, i.e. as soon as a positive case appears in the data.







The graphs below show the number of cases that our local team have been dealing with.  As cases drop, this has also dropped, except where all contact tracing was initiated from 10th March.  



The overall follow up rate across the national and local team has remained at around 90% of York cases.  As can be seen from the graph below, with all cases being followed up locally, this success rate has remained consistent, if not slightly better.






Contact tracing process


Case receives positive result alongside link to self-complete contact trace


Local T&T send email and text advising case of isolation requirement and next steps


3x call attempts are made (morning, afternoon, next day) to complete online contact trace


If call attempts unsuccessful, home visit is made


Home visit successful- a call will be made within the hour to provide support/complete contact trace


Home visit unsuccessful- Case passed on to enforcement team for further follow up.



Benefits of local service


       Dedicated telephone number 01904 551559- resulting in a dedicated place for isolation-contact tracing queries.

       Ability to group cases by household and complete multiple traces in 1 call-Same call handler/family

       Can signpost to local services- Self-isolation support payments, bereavement support etc.

       Able to gather soft intelligence and recognise patterns of infection, i.e. school cases, care homes, traveller sites, and escalate where necessary through local channels

       Forming connections with workplaces to assist in Contact Trace engagement; Stockton Hall Hospital, Chocolate Works Care Village

       Home Visit capability-resulting in quick resolution of cases, and ability to encourage call backs

       Residents are more welcoming & trusting to local contact tracers & local numbers


Fiona Phillips – Assistant Director Public Health

6th April 2021