Council staff are being trained to help the test and trace effort and attempt to make contact with those not reached by the national system.
At the current time approximately 80% of people are being reached via the national test and trace system. The local team will be used to try and trace the remaining 20% where possible and ask them to self-isolate for 14 days from the day they were last in contact with the person who has tested positive for coronavirus.
Twenty council staff are being trained and will be redeployed as and when necessary to support this test and trace effort.
Krishna Ramkhelawon, director of public health at Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, says: “We are very pleased to be one of the first councils in the country not under national intervention to be putting this local system into place which will help to support the national test and trace system, and keep our communities safe.
“We have identified 20 employees to be redeployed and they are being trained to identify and contact those not reached by the national system. The staff will be able to advise local people of the new law around self-isolation and also provide guidance about the support that may be available to them.”
Cllr Trevor Harp, cabinet member for adult social care and health, says: “I am very pleased to be getting this new team in place, who will be made up of current council employees and be on standby to do this work and go out into the community and door knock where necessary, working with local community leaders.
“An effective test and trace system is vital as we seek to control the spread of coronavirus, and so we are pleased to be taking this action and putting this in place which will help to protect local communities.”