Thank you for following COVID-19 guidance

Release Date: 11 August 2020

Richmond upon Thames is leading the way on COVID-19 testing, with the highest NHS Test and Trace programme testing uptake in London and 86% of contacts being identified, but the Council Leader warns, we should not become complacent.

Over the last 30 days, there have been over 8,300 COVID-19 tests in Richmond. The borough had the second highest testing rate in London (4216 per 100,000 residents).

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases remains low in Richmond and 86% (London average 79%) of COVID-19 cases have provided information on their contacts to NHS Test and Trace. A high rate of 88% (London average 77%) of these contacts have been successfully contacted. This is an important tool in our COVID-19 response.

Cllr Gareth Roberts, Leader of the Council said:

"We are working hard to make sure that people in the borough know what to do if they are showing symptoms or if they are contacted by NHS Test and Trace.

"It seems to be working. Our local figures continue to show a high percentage of compliance when it comes to Test and Trace.

"But this journey is not over yet. We need to remain vigilant and relentless in our fight against coronavirus. Everyone must wear a mask in enclosed public spaces or public transport, keep their distance from others, wash their hands regularly and importantly – get a test if they are showing any symptoms. Anyone who is contacted and advised to self-isolate, should do so without delay."

Responding to calls for an urgent local contact tracing service, Cllr Roberts said:

"We know that there is a lot of negative news in the public domain about the national contact tracing service.

"We are reviewing the number of cases daily. What is important is that people know how and when to get tested and any local clusters of cases are responded to swiftly and appropriately. We encourage you to get tested at any of the sites across the borough. Currently the national service seems to working well in this borough, with 88% of contacts being able to be identified for positive cases.

"Whilst we therefore have no current plans to set up a localised contact tracing service, we will continue to work closely with Public Health England and the local South East London Health Protection geographical teams and monitor the situation."

It is very important that we continue to follow Government advice, so:

  • Work from home if you can
  • Limit contact with other people outside your household
  • Keep your distance from people not in your household (two metres apart where possible)
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Wear a face covering when on public transport and in shops

If you do have symptoms, you MUST stay at home and self-isolate, while you wait for a test. There are several ways you can get tested:

  • Go online and book through the national testing website or call 119
  • Home test kits - delivered to your home and then collected by courier once completed

Notes for editors

If you are a journalist and would like further information about this press release, contact Elinor Firth on 020 8487 5159.

Reference: P317/20

Updated: 28 August 2020