“Any national plans by government to track and trace coronavirus needs to be complemented by making use of existing local knowledge and skills on the ground."
Responding to the Government’s coronavirus contact tracing strategy, Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said:
“Any national plans by government to track and trace coronavirus needs to be complemented by making use of existing local knowledge and skills on the ground.
“Councils want to play their full part in the national effort to defeat this disease. Directors of Public Health working in councils, alongside a range of other local services such as environmental health, public health including sexual health services and infection control nurses already have the experience of testing and contact tracing in their communities.
“They have the necessary skills to work with government on this, to scale up the system at pace and shape this at a local level.
“Some of these workers may need to be supported by recent graduates, retired staff, trainees and other civil servants to help meet demand, monitor compliance with government advice and enforce health protection regulations.
“This extra demand on existing services would need to be met by additional resources and funding, if councils are to help test, trace and isolate those with COVID-19.”