Local democracy during coronavirus

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Agenda item

Presentation: Test and Trace


Fiona Phillips gave a presentation on the test and trace service. Lateral flow testing had continued to be delivered from 14 December 2020.  Fiona updated the group on the frequency of which the testing sites had been operating to. She added that from 22 January 2021, the complementary PCR test would no longer be offered to an individual who tested positive with a lateral flow test. The individual would instead be asked to isolate from the point they took the test.


Businesses had been encouraged to send their staff for testing at the stadium site.  Fiona also reported that both the Acorn Rugby Club and Ethel Ward playing field mobile testing unit (MTU) would both be extended.  The MTU at the Ethel Ward playing field was initially only planned for a week but would continue its presence on two days per week.  Rates across the city would continue to be monitored to ensure everyone had the correct provision.


Fiona explained that surge testing was done to understand whether the new variant had spread to other parts of the country. Our local team would continue to work with the national tem to offer testing in certain areas of the city.  A public awareness campaign around surge testing was also being developed to be ready for when it needed to be circulated.


Fiona informed the group that York had expressed an interest in doing all contact tracing locally.  The contact tracing would also be enhanced as the service would ask for more detail around where the case had been prior to testing positive.  They would then follow up with other people who attended the venue.  As York was following up with 90% of all cases received, it seemed appropriate to extend the service.  Fiona informed the group of the plans to work with the police in terms of home visits.  Other means to follow up on cases were also being explored.


Councillor Runciman agreed that York should provide an enhanced contact tracing service as the data showed how well we had done locally. Cases were being contacted more quickly on a more local level.  Cllr Runciman stated that a submission of interest to the government would be appropriate.


Lisa Winward, Chief Constable of North Yorkshire Police, stated that when colleagues had attended the addresses of cases to ensure they were self-isolating, they found that the vast majority were following the guidance.  As most people did not answer cold calls, Lisa asked whether any more communications would be developed to inform people of the local contact tracing number.


Sharon Stoltz, Director of Public Health for the City of York, stated that she had wanted to provide an enhanced contact tracing service for some time now and had been lobbying for York to be one of the chosen pilots.  Additional funding would be provided if we were chosen to do this locally.  The Board agreed with Sharon’s suggestion.


Action 019: Sharon/Fiona agreed to write a letter on behalf of the Board to ask for York to be one of the chosen enhanced contact tracing pilots.


The Board noted the update.



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