The latest figures from the NHS Test and Trace service shows that there has been a 52 per cent rise in the number of people using the service since mid-June.
Where tests have proven positive, the ‘tracing’ service has now reached more than 272,000 people – around 81 per cent of the positive cases’ close contacts.
Almost 4 million people have been tested overall in the UK, mostly at in-person test sites, with results delivered the following day.
The highest case rates continue to be seen in the 15 to 44 year olds, and in the North and central regions of England.
Additional teams are now set up in those areas of high prevalence, and as a consequence Devon (which has a low rate of infection), is seeing some testing resource diverted to where there is higher demand.
Dr Virginia Pearson, Director of Public Health Devon, said:
“We are experiencing some problems with accessing COVID-19 testing in Devon as a result of national laboratory capacity for analysing tests being directed to areas elsewhere with a higher prevalence of cases. This is a national issue. As a result, we are working hard to put additional local arrangements in place to boost our local testing availability until national testing capacity can be increased.
“If people have symptoms we urge them to continue to book a test as normal via the government website. If they are unable to book a slot then they can email email@example.com and they will be contacted by someone who will help direct them to the nearest testing centre.
“People can check their symptoms via 111 online or calling 111.”