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Last edited 11 May 2021
Study reveals cost of inefficient contact tracing
Research from Contact Harald reveals that 84% of UK-based companies and organisations lost working days to ‘potential’ COVID-19 contact during 2020. Over £11bn worth of productive days were lost, costing each business an estimated £660,193. A further 1.4 million lost days could have been avoided if the right tracing systems had been in place.
According to the report, 84% of large businesses and organisations in the UK have lost working days due to a lack of effective contact tracing. The resulting lost productivity is estimated to have cost the country’s economy over £11bn from March 2020 to March 2021 - a number equivalent to 4.3 million working days.
The study, which looked at 500 UK companies employing over 100 staff, found an average cost of £660,193 per business due to absent workers isolating and waiting for test results, following potential contact with COVID-19. This includes time off for those who thought they might have been in close proximity to someone who tested positive for the virus.
Businesses have, on average, lost the equivalent of nearly 255 working days due to possible COVID-19 contact, in addition to the average 142 days caused by absent staff with confirmed cases.
 Importance of contact tracing
The research puts into sharp focus the need for efficient, accurate contact tracing if businesses are to remain profitable. However, over a third of businesses (37%) in Britain claim to have found tracking potential contact cases difficult, or very difficult, suggesting more support is required in order to protect companies - and employees - as the world starts operating again in a post COVID-19 era. A large majority of respondents (93%) said that a tech solution would have prevented days lost to potential COVID-19 contact.
Nick O’Halloran, founder of Contact Harald, commented, “More than 80% of businesses lost working days, which is cause for concern to any industry expecting to re-open its doors in the coming months."
"Our research found that businesses could have reduced the amount of days lost as result of potential COVID-19 contact by a third (33.5%) – if they had their affairs in order through contact tracking technology. Tech solutions could therefore have saved businesses at least 1,451,170 lost working days,” continues Contact Harald’s Founder and Head of Product, Matt Denton. “Contact Harald is a really simple, effective way to keep workers in any industry safe, whatever size or location, while still preserving privacy. Employees are given a card to keep on their person, and if a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 occurs, an authorised user within the business anonymously notifies anyone potentially affected to isolate.”
 There were 20,150 business with 100+ employees in 2020: 84.4% of businesses confirmed lost working days to self isolation/possible COVID exposure = 17,007 were affected. Mean cost is £660192.98 so 17,007 x £660192.98 = £11,227,902,010.86
 Assuming 17,007 businesses were affected (as per previous calculations) x 254.71 average number of working days lost = 4,331,852.97. 33.5% of 4,331,852.97 = 1,451,170.
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