If you receive a mysterious call from an unknown Bracknell number, don't be alarmed — it could be very important for containing coronavirus.

That's because a new contact tracing system designed for Bracknell Forest has officially launched.

Residents are being told not be alarmed if they receive a phone call from 01344 354321 as this is the number that official Bracknell Forest Council contact tracers will use.

As the News revealed last month, the council’s own tracking scheme will support the government’s own tracing operation.

According to Bracknell Forest Council, four in five people identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for the virus are successfully contacted by the national NHS test and trace system.

Council chiefs are hoping to reach the last few people who slip off the radar with their new system.

READ MORE: Latest test and trace contact figures for Bracknell Forest

Local contact tracers, who are all Bracknell Forest Council staff, will call people who have tested positive for COVID-19 to gather details of their close contacts, if national test and trace is unable to make contact after 24 hours.

Councillor Paul Bettison, Leader of Bracknell Forest Council, said: “Bracknell Forest Council, like other councils, has launched a local test and trace system so that those people who have tested positive for the virus, but national NHS test and trace haven’t been able to get hold of, do not slip through the cracks.

“We need to get hold of these people so they can be advised appropriately, officially told to self-isolate and be provided with any information relating to local services they may require whilst isolating.

“If you receive a call from 01344 354321 then it is one of our local contact tracers trying to get hold of you.

EXPLAINED: How the council's new contact tracing system will work

“We know that we continually tell people to never give out our personal details to strangers over the phone, but this is an exceptional circumstance and an additional step in our response to COVID-19, so please do speak to them if they call.

“A pre-text will be sent to mobile numbers in advance of the call.”

All local contact tracers have undertaken a full training programme, including data security; children’s and adult safeguarding and clinical information governance.