"This needs to be supported by adequate resources for councils to make sure tests are undertaken and for swift follow-up action following any positive cases."
Responding to the announcement that councils’ directors of public health will receive their own supply of COVID-19 test kits, Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said:
“Directors of public health, working in councils, have been calling for their own supply of coronavirus testing kits for some time and it is good that this has been heard by government. It is also encouraging that councils will have the flexibility and freedom to decide where and how they use these tests, depending on the level and location of infections in their areas.
“This needs to be supported by adequate resources for councils to make sure tests are undertaken and for swift follow-up action following any positive cases.
“Mass testing will inevitably lead to more contact tracing. This makes it even more urgent to upscale successful local contact tracing efforts to plug gaps in the national scheme.
“For that to happen, councils need timely, clearer, more precise information on who they should be trying to contact as soon as possible and funding to undertake the contact tracing they are picking up now – as well as the extra demand they will face in the weeks and months ahead.”