THE government has been urged to provide essential funds for the Royal Borough to roll out local contact tracing.

Councillor Stuart Carroll (Conservative: Boyn Hill), lead member for health, revealed he has written a letter to Health Secretary Matt Hancock urgently requesting funding be allocated for a local track and trace system in the borough.

In his letter, Cllr Carroll states cases are spreading across the borough through community transmission within and between households, rather than outbreaks.

This makes it harder to pinpoint sources of infection within Windsor and Maidenhead and Cllr Carroll added a local track and trace system will enable the borough to locate infection sources and reduce the transmission.

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The Royal Borough has seen an acceleration of confirmed cases in recent weeks and, at the time the letter was written on October 26, the borough had 1,201 cases with 196 of those being from October 10-16.

The weekly rate during that time was 129.4 per 100,000 population – which is eight per cent higher than the week before and 104 per cent higher than the week before that.

In the letter, Cllr Carroll stated: “We are experiencing significant capacity restraints in implementing further prevention measures in the borough.

“Developing local track and tracing will ensure the quality of our data improves so we can pinpoint sources of infection and take a risk-based approach to any restrictions; however, I believe it is essential that we receive additional funding to enable us to roll out local contact tracing in an effective way to reduce transmission and prevent further increases in cases.”

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Both the Windsor MP Adam Afriyie and Maidenhead MP Theresa May were copied in the letter.

While the area is currently in Tier 1, the least restrictive Tier, the leader of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, councillor Andrew Johnson (Conservative: Hurley and Walthams) recently warned the borough remains ‘on the cusp’ of entering Tier 2 as cases continue to climb.

Neighbouring borough Slough entered Tier 2 last week following a rise in cases at an ‘alarming level’.

If the Royal Borough enters ‘high’ alert level, people mixing indoors with other people they do not live with will be banned.