One in 6 close contacts of people with coronavirus are not being reached by the test and trace system in Essex, figures suggest.

Data from the Department for Health and Social care shows 55,605 people who tested positive for Covid-19 in Essex were transferred to the Test and Trace service between May 28 and December 30.

That means 14,039 new cases were transferred in the latest seven-day period.

Contact tracers ask new patients to give details for anyone they were in close contact with in the 48 hours before their symptoms started.

This led to 113,505 close contacts being identified over the period – those not managed by local health protection teams, which are dealt with through a call centre or online.

But 84.3% of those were reached, meaning 17,792 people were not contacted or did not respond.

That was up from the 81.5% reached in the period to December 23.

Across England, 92.3% of contacts not managed by local health protection teams were reached and told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace in the latest week to December 30.

Local health protection teams deal with cases linked to settings such as hospitals, schools and prisons.

The contact tracing rate including these cases was 92.3%, down from 92.6% the week before.

Around 270,000 new cases were transferred nationally in the week to December 30.