Fewer people "pinged" by virus phone app

Hundreds fewer people in South Tyneside were contacted by the NHS Covid-19 phone app in the latest week, following a change aimed at cutting isolation alerts.

Friday, 13th August 2021, 10:36 am
The NHS Covid-19 app

NHS figures show 574 people in South Tyneside were "pinged" by the Covid app in the week to August 4, the latest available data – a decrease on the 854 alerts sent out the week before.

The app warns people that they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus and advises them to isolate for up to 10 days, although there is no legal obligation to do so.

From Monday August 16, people who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 will no longer have to self-isolate if they have been in close contact with someone who tested positive for the virus.

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The app has been updated meaning fewer contacts are now being instructed to isolate, after the lifting of lockdown restrictions led to a huge increase in the number of people being contacted – the so-called “pingdemic”.

Department for Health and Social Care figures also show contact tracers told 842 people in South Tyneside to self-isolate after being in contact with someone who tested positive for Covid-19 in the week to August 4 – down from 1,256 the week before.

The figures show 928 people who came into close contact with someone who tested positive for Covid-19 in South Tyneside were transferred to the Test and Trace service in the latest week.

It means 86 contacts were not reached by the service.