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Cambridgeshire starts 'backward contact tracing' in fight against Covid-19



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Cambridgeshire is now undertaking “backwards contact tracing” for Covid-19.

Liz Robin (46562648)
Liz Robin (46562648)

The county’s director of public health, Dr Liz Robin, speaking to county’s local outbreak engagement board on Friday, March 30, on the last day before she retired, Dr. Robin said the method had been made possible by lower rates of infection and a bigger tracing team.

She told the meeting: “We have taken on a bigger contact tracing team, and we have also been able with the lower case rates to start developing something call backwards contact tracing, which means that we are not just contacting people who a case might have infected, we are able to say to people who have been infected with Covid, ‘who have you been in contact with over a longer period and where do you think you might have caught the Covid?’

“And that enables us to start doing a real backwards look at the epidemiology, try to establish where people may have caught their Covid from, and to establish linkages between different groups or households of people with Covid so that we can really see at a granular level how it is spreading.”

Dr. Robin added: "Backward contact tracing is “something we haven’t really been able to do until now because you need lower rates and you need quite a lot of trained staff”.

She said her team had been piloting the backward contact method in the week March 19 to 23, when there was also an increase in cases in Cambridge.

Following Dr Robin’s retirement at the end of April, Jyoti Atri will take up the position of director of public health for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, joining from their role as interim executive director of Public Health Wales.



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