NEARLY one in four close contacts of people with coronavirus are not being reached by the test and trace system in Herefordshire, amid a record number of new positive cases.

Data from the Department for Health and Social care shows 3,714 people who tested positive for Covid-19 in Herefordshire were transferred to the Test and Trace service between May 28 and January 6.

That means 707 new cases were transferred in the latest seven-day period – the largest increase since the regime began.

Contact tracers ask new patients to give details for anyone they were in close contact with in the 48 hours before their symptoms started.

This led to 7,954 close contacts being identified over the period – those not managed by local health protection teams, which are dealt with through a call centre or online.

But 75.8% of those were reached, meaning 1,928 people were not contacted or did not respond.

That was up from the 72.4% reached in the period to December 30.

Across England, 92.7% of contacts not managed by local health protection teams were reached and told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace in the latest week to January 6.

Local health protection teams deal with cases linked to settings such as hospitals, schools and prisons.

The contact tracing rate including these cases was 92.7%, up from 92.4% the week before.

Around 388,000 new cases were transferred nationally in the week to January 6.