Journalists joined Dr Michelle Kendall and colleagues from Oxford University to hear about their study released today which analyses the impact of the test and trace programme first introduced on the Isle of Wight on May 5th. The results, which are yet to be peer reviewed and published, are encouraging with rapidly declining total incidence, per capita incidence and reproduction number (R) levels in hospital and community tested cases on the Isle of Wight following the introduction of test and trace. The Isle of Wight results also show both R and incidence decline faster than other areas of the UK. The team compare Pillar 1 and Pillar 2 testing data across 150 upper tier local authorities. In mid-April, the island was positioned with one of the worst R rates (147th out of 150 upper tier local authorities – ULTA’s); by the end of June, the island had risen to one of the best R rated areas (10th out of 150).
The team explained how the research methodology can be used to support local outbreaks – helping to spot trends in localised incidence and R rates. With more data, they could also assess the impact of different epidemic control interventions and assess how the learning from the Isle of Wight could be transferred to other regions.
The results were posted in preprint form this morning.
* Please note this briefing was on a pre-print, so it is a preliminary piece of research that has not yet been through peer review and has not been published in a scientific journal. *
Dr Michelle Kendall, Senior Researcher, Nuffield Department of Medicine, Oxford University
Dr David Bonsall, clinician and Senior Researcher, Nuffield Department of Medicine, Oxford University
Dr Lucie Abeler-Dörner, Senior Programme Manager, Nuffield Department of Medicine, Oxford University