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Last week, the government announced a major shift in its approach to covid-19 contact tracing in England, by giving local council public health teams more responsibility and shrinking the national Test and Trace scheme. The significant u turn came as the national scheme continues to fall short of reaching the 80% of contacts of people who test positive that experts believe is needed for controls to be effective. Last week, only 61% of the 12 731 contacts identified by staff at national calldoi:10.1136/bmj.m3248 pmid:32816820 fatcat:25tyk5lhvvfyjaauh3523bowlm