COVID-19: Highest weekly total of positive tests recorded since Test and Trace began

·2-min read

The number of people testing positive for COVID-19 in England has increased by 33%, new figures reveal.

A total of 232,169 people tested positive at least once in the week to 23 December, according to the latest Test and Trace figures.

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This is up by 33% on the previous week and is the highest weekly total since Test and Trace began in May.

Just 16.9% of people who were tested for COVID-19 in England in the week ending 23 December at a regional site, local site or mobile testing unit - a so-called "in-person" test - received their result within 24 hours.

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This is down from 34.1% in the previous week and is the lowest percentage since the week to 14 October.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson had pledged that, by the end of June, the results of all in-person tests would be back within 24 hours.

He told the House of Commons on 3 June that he would get "all tests turned around within 24 hours by the end of June, except for difficulties with postal tests or insuperable problems like that".

Of the 211,914 people transferred to the Test and Trace system in the week to December 23, 85.8% were reached and asked to provide details of recent close contacts.

This is down from 88.6% in the previous week and is the lowest percentage since the week to October 28.

However, the Department for Health and Social Care says that although it told fewer people to isolate, it did in fact, contact 50,000 more people who tested positive than they did last week - and contacted 100,000 more contacts overall.

Some 12.8% of people transferred to Test and Trace in the week to December 23 were not reached while a further 1.3% did not provide any communication details.

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