More than 1,500 "pinged" by virus phone app

More than 1,500 people in South Tyneside were “pinged” by the NHS Covid-19 phone app and told to isolate in the latest week, figures reveal.

Friday, 30th July 2021, 11:43 am
The NHS virus alert app

NHS figures show 1,770 people in the area were contacted by the Covid app in the week to July 21, the latest available data – a decrease from the 2,598 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.

Across England and Wales, nearly 700,000 alerts were sent to Covid app users in the latest seven-day period – a record high and 11% more than the previous week.

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Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick has urged people to isolate if advised to do so.

He added: “I appreciate that it is a significant number of people and it can be frustrating, but the app is doing what we asked of it.”

While isolation is not mandatory for people “pinged” by the Covid app, anyone contacted and told to self-isolate by the NHS Test and Trace service has a legal obligation to do so.

Separate Department for Health and Social Care figures show contact tracers told 2,587 people in South Tyneside to self-isolate after being in contact with someone who tested positive for Covid-19 in the week to July 21 – down from 3,463 the week before.

The figures show 2,836 people who came into close contact with someone who tested positive for Covid-19 were transferred to Test and Trace – meaning 249 contacts were not reached.