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COVID-19 contact tracing using sexual health services in Cumbria
  1. Susanna Currie
  1. Cumbria Sexual Health Services, North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust, Carlisle, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Susanna Currie, Cumbria Sexual Health Services, North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust, Carlisle, UK; Su.Currie{at}

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Cumbria Sexual Health Services (CSHS) in collaboration with Cumbria Public Health and local authorities have established a COVID-19 contact tracing pathway for Cumbria. The local system was live 10 days prior to the national system on 18 May 2020. It was designed to interface and dovetail with the government’s track and trace programme.

Our involvement in this initiative was due to a chance meeting between Professor Matt Phillips, Consultant in Sexual Health and HIV, and the Director of Public Health Cumbria, Colin Cox. Colin knew that Cumbria needed to act fast to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 and Matt knew that sexual health had the skills to help.


Despite over 90% of the staff from CSHS being redeployed in March 2020, CSHS maintained urgent sexual healthcare for the county and a phone line for advice and guidance. As staff began to return to the service in May 2020 we had capacity to spare seven staff members, whose hours were the equivalent of four full-time staff. We had one system administrator, three healthcare assistants, …

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  • Handling editor Anna Maria Geretti

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.