The latest headlines in your inbox twice a day Monday – Friday plus breaking news updates
The number of people testing positive for coronavirus in England has jumped 43 per cent, new figures show.
A total of 9,864 new people tested positive in the week to September 2, according to the latest Test and Trace figures.
This is an increase of 43 per cent in positive cases on the previous week, and is the highest weekly number since Test and Trace was launched at the end of May.
In the week ending September 2, some 69.2 per cent of close contacts of people who tested positive in England were reached through the Test and Trace system, according to new figures from the Department of Health and Social Care.
This is down slightly from 69.8 per cent in the previous week, and is the lowest weekly percentage since Test and Trace was launched in May.
For cases handled by local health protection teams, 96.6 per cent of contacts were reached and asked to self-isolate in the week to September 2.
By contrast, for those cases handled either online or by call centres, 61.3 per cent of close contacts were reached and asked to self-isolate.
A total of 81,989 people who tested positive in England have now had their cases transferred to the NHS Test and Trace contact tracing system since its launch.
The figures cover the period May 28 to September 2.
Since the launch of the system, 293,452 close contacts of people who have tested positive for coronavirus have now been reached through the tracing system and asked to self-isolate.
This is 78.8 per cent out of a total of 372,493 people identified as close contacts.
The remaining 79,041 people were identified as close contacts, but were not reached.
Just 42 per cent of contacts have been reached for Test and Trace cases in Bradford handled online or by call centres.
This is the lowest proportion for any local authority area in England.
For cases in Peterborough, 46 per cent of contacts have been reached, for Blackburn with Darwen the figure is 48 per cent, and for Kirklees and Nottingham the figure is 49 per cent.
These figures are just for “non-complex cases” – cases handled online or by call centres – and cover the 14 weeks of Test and Trace from May 28 to September 2.
It comes as Matt Hancock told MPs that the average distance people have to travel to a coronavirus test site is 6.4 miles.
“We’ve increased capacity by over 10,000 tests a day over the last fortnight and while there have been challenges in access to tests, the vast majority of people get their tests rapidly and close to home,” he said.
“The average distance travelled to a test site is 6.4 miles and 90 per cent of people who book a test travel 22 miles or less.
“We already have more than 400 testing sites in operation, we added 19 next week and plan 17 more this week.”
Mr Hancock added that “if you do not have symptoms and haven’t been asked then you are not eligible for a test”.