The test and trace programme in Powys has a 100 per cent hit rate so far, councillors have heard.

So far 28 people who tested positive for coronavirus have had their contacts traced – with everybody who was being searched for being successfully located.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 5,393 tests have been carried out within Powys, with 5.5 per cent of those showing positive results – compared with a rate of 8.4 per cent across Wales.

At a meeting of the economy, residents, communities and governance scrutiny committee on Thursday, July 2,  councillors were given a briefing on how coronavirus contact tracing is working in the county.

Director of environment and economy, Nigel Brinn, told councillors that Powys County Council and Powys Teaching Health Board are working together on the project.

Councillor James Gibson-Watt (Glasbury – Liberal Democrat), said: “Because we have a much more localised approach in Wales building on the experience of public health and environmental health, we are able to identify down to postcode, that’s why we’re getting the 100 per cent response, is that a fair reading?”

Mr Brinn added: “I would say so. Staff response has been fantastic they’re working all sorts of hours because it’s their communities.”

Programme manager Nicola Wheeler, added: “Staff have been really passionate about doing the work they have gone above and beyond.

“We’re keen to keep that within Powys and not bringing any external company to do the work on our behalf now or in the future really.”

Mr Brinn said that at the outset, they had expected to need four teams of 19 to do the work, but they were running with one at the moment.

This is made up of a manager, clinical lead and four contact tracers from PTHB, then 12 contact advisors and administrator from PCC.

The PCC staff involved all come from the pool of redeployed staff from other departments.

Mr Brinn added that other teams would be rolled out if needed.

“Hopefully we will not require them,” he said.

The appropriate self-isolation advice and guidance has been provided to all such contacts.

Outside of Powys, the team helped Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board in North Wales trace 20 people and all the people they had been in contact with, from both coronavirus outbreaks at meat factories on Anglesey and in Wrexham.