Hertfordshire County Council has taken over responsibility for identifying contacts of people who have tested positive for coronavirus.

The local authority, rather than NHS Track and Trace, is now responsible for contact tracing in the county and has teams that will get in touch with anyone who tests positive.

The new approach should mean that people who have tested positive will be contacted faster than before because the process can begin as soon as the case is put on to the NHS Test and Trace system.

The teams will ensure that those who tested positive and any other members of their household that need to can self-isolate successfully.

In February and March, 92 per cent of positive cases in Hertfordshire were successfully reached and the contact tracing process completed.

However, the national set-up will continue to provide support in tracing the contacts of residents to test positive.

Jim McManus, Director of Public Health for Hertfordshire, said: “The new scheme is an important step as it will allow teams at the district and borough councils to use their local knowledge of communities and their expertise to determine more quickly where people may have caught the virus, and that knowledge will help to stop the spread and identify any possible local outbreaks.

“As our self-isolation support day last month showed once again, our residents are incredible – most are self-isolating when they need to, and that’s fantastic.

"However, we fully understand that some of our residents need support to self-isolate effectively and anybody that does need support can contact HertsHelp which can assist in a number of ways.”

HertsHelp, a network of community organisations, can assist residents with a range of services such as mental health support, collecting shopping and vital medical supplies, money and debt concerns, and arranging help when needed for pet care.

HertsHelp can be reached by phoning 0300 123 4044 or by email info@hertshelp.net and at www.hertshelp.net.