A NEW local Covid-19 contact tracing system has been launched.

Dorset Council, in partnership with Public Health England, has launched a locally supported contact tracing system to help trace residents who have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus.

If the national NHS Test and Trace system is not able to contact a local resident after two days, their details will be passed on to the council to help find additional contact details.

The local contact tracing team will then try to get in touch with the resident by phone, text or email over the following 72 hours.

Residents will be asked about their recent activities and who they may have been in contact with during this time. This information is then fed back to the national team who pick this up and attempt to contact anyone that may also have been infected.

Councillor Laura Miller, Dorset Council portfolio holder for adult social care and health, said: "Contact tracing is a vital part of the efforts to stop the spread of Covid-19 and we're working to support the national NHS Test and Trace service by calling, texting and emailing local residents who have tested positive for the virus.

"Now more than ever it is crucial that we all follow the new national lockdown restrictions.

"If you or a member of your household tests positive for Covid-19, if you are contacted by NHS Test and Trace, or if you are contacted by us, you must stay at home and self-isolate."

Sam Crowe, director of public health for Dorset and BCP councils said: "It's great that Dorset Council is helping the national NHS Test and Trace team to locate residents who may have been in close contact with a positive Covid-19 case.

"The more resources we have in contacting these close contacts, the more people will be self-isolating and helping to slow down the spread of the virus."

"Everyone can play their part to help slow down the spread of coronavirus by downloading the NHS Covid-19 app and, if you do get a positive coronavirus test result, please give the contact details of anyone who you may have been in close contact with to NHS Test and Trace so they can do their job and tell people to self-isolate."