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Covid-19: Local public health teams being denied access to data that could help them trace cases

BMJ 2020; 370 doi: (Published 17 July 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;370:m2883

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  1. Ingrid Torjesen
  1. London

Local public health teams are not being provided with the patient identifiable information on covid-19 cases that they need to manage and prevent local outbreaks effectively, directors of public health have said.

Data they are receiving from community drive-through testing centres and home testing kits (from “pillar 2” of the government’s testing scheme) are anonymised, and postcode and occupational data are often missing or of low quality. As a result, local teams say they cannot use the data to examine possible connections between cases, such as a common workplace, or whether one of the cases could be a “super-spreader.” They are also being denied access to …

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