Herefordshire has seen its coronavirus contact tracing rate fall once again, new figures reveal.

Data from the Department for Health and Social care shows 453 people who tested positive for Covid-19 in Herefordshire were transferred to the Test and Trace service between May 28 and October 14.

The service asks these patients to give details for anyone they were in close contact with in the 48 hours before their symptoms started.

In Herefordshire, 852 close contacts were identified – also referred to as "non-complex" cases, meaning they could be dealt with through a call centre or online.

But just 62.2 per cent were reached by contact tracers over the period – down slightly from 64.3 per cent up to October 7, and 65.7 per cent to September 30.

In Herefordshire, 69 new cases were transferred to test and trace in the latest week, NHS figures show.

The performance of the NHS Test and Trace system continues to slide across England, with just one in seven people having a test at a centre getting their result back in 24 hours.

The new weekly data from the programme shows 15.1 per cent of people who were tested for Covid-19 in England in the week ending October 14 at a regional site, local site or mobile testing unit – a so-called in-person test – received their result within 24 hours.

This is down from 32.8 per cent in the previous week and is the lowest weekly percentage since Test and Trace began.

The figures also show a drop to 59.6 per cent in the proportion of close contacts of people who tested positive who were reached.

This is the lowest weekly percentage since Test and Trace began and is down from 63 per cent in the previous week.

For cases handled by local health protection teams, 94.8 per cent of contacts were reached and asked to self-isolate in the week to October 14.

But for cases handled either online or by call centres, this figure was 57.6 per cent.

The data also shows the positivity rate – the proportion of all tests returning a positive result – has climbed to 7.1 per cent for the week, the highest since Test and Trace began.

According to criteria published by the World Health Organisation, a positivity rate of less than 5 per cent is one indicator that the epidemic is under control in a country.

A total of 101,494 people tested positive for Covid-19 in England at least once in the week to October 14 – a rise of 12 per cent in positive cases on the previous week.

The latest data shows that of 96,521 people transferred to the system, 80.7 per cent were reached and asked to provide details of recent close contacts.

This is up slightly on 79.9 per cent in the previous week.