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England’s Test and Trace head told to self-isolate by her own service

England’s Test and Trace head told to self-isolate by her own service
Baroness Dido Harding, who is the head of England’s NHS tracking service, revealed on Wednesday morning that she had been told to self-isolate after being contacted by her own service’s app.

Harding tweeted out “nothing like personal experience of your own products”, revealing she needs to self-isolate until midnight on 26th November after coming into contact with someone who’s tested positive for coronavirus.

The NHS app alerts other users if they have spent 15 minutes or more within two meters of someone who has tested positive for the virus. Under the government’s guidelines, if you are contacted by the app, you must isolate for 14 days from the last time you met with the infected individual.

The news comes after Baroness Harding’s husband John Penrose, a Conservative MP and former minister, revealed on Monday that he was already in self-isolation after being contacted by the app. Penrose is one of 11 Conservative MPs, including the Prime Minister, who are self-isolating after an event at Downing Street.

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The Baroness has faced criticism over her appointment to oversee England’s coronavirus tracing program due to her perceived lack of experience in the field and the repeat failure of the service to reach its required target of contacts reached, delays in results and test centers finding it challenging to meet demand.

The most recent set of NHS figures, for the week ending 4th November, showed that only 60.4% of contacts of people who tested positive for coronavirus were reached, making it one of the lowest rates since the service launched in May.

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