Home Coronavirus: News and Advice Latest NHS COVID-19 app update reduces the number of people being ‘pinged’

Latest NHS COVID-19 app update reduces the number of people being ‘pinged’

by Guy Murphy

Knowsley residents are being encouraged to continue using the NHS COVID-19 app following changes in the latest update to reduce the number of people having to isolate.

The latest app update has seen changes made to the ‘logic’ of the app, which underpins how close contacts are notified.

Previously the app would look for close contacts five days prior to a positive test being inputted. This has now been updated to two days prior based on public health advice.

The change will mean fewer contacts that took place when the positive case was unlikely to be at the peak of their infectiousness are advised to self-isolate, reducing the overall number of notifications sent by the app.

This update does not impact the sensitivity of the app, or change the risk threshold, and will result in the same number of high-risk contacts being advised to self-isolate.

Cllr Christine Bannon, Cabinet Member for Health, said: “The COVID-19 app is a fantastic tool that plays a crucial role in reducing the spread of the virus in our communities.

“Over the past few weeks there have been some concerns raised about the app and the number of people having to isolate through it. This latest update will help reduce the number of people isolating unnecessarily, while continuing to ensure that our communities are protected.

“I urge all Knowsley residents to continue to use the app and check-in to venues when out and about.

This update comes as new analysis shows the NHS COVID-19 app continues to play a crucial role in breaking chains of transmission, preventing hospitalisations and saving lives.

New analysis, released by the UK Government, from leading scientists shows that in the first 3 weeks of July, as cases were exponentially rising, the app averted up to 2,000 cases per day, and over 50,000 cases of COVID-19 including chains of transmission assuming 60% compliance with instructions to self-isolate. This is estimated to have prevented 1,600 hospitalisations.

It also shows the app reduces the spread of COVID-19 by around 4.3% each week, and for every 200 to 250 tests entered and shared in the app one person is prevented from being hospitalised from the virus.