Jack Quann
Jack Quann

13.53 29 Jul 2020


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More than 100 people have been alerted as being in close contact with a confirmed case of the coronavirus through the COVID Tracker app.

It uses a 'bluetooth handshake' to speak to other devices and registers when you have been close together for about 15 minutes.

The app sends a push notification to a person's device, while the Health Service Executive (HSE) will also get in contact if a phone number has been provided.

The HSE has said no personal information is given out and nobody will know the identity of the person who tests positive.

Over 1.4 million people have registered on the app since it was launched.

Government official Elizabeth Canavan said it adds to the State's contact tracing capabilities.

"To date 105 people have been alerted by the app that they have been in close contact with a confirmed case.

"If you've been in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID, the app sends you a 'close contact' alert.

"If you provide your phone number, the HSE will then contact you to give you advice and refer you for testing - if that's appropriate".

"Testing isn't just about you, it's about the people around you, the people you've been in contact with - some of whom may be much more vulnerable to the disease than you are.

"They may be people that you don't even know that you were close to in a public space".

She added: "Making the app available in global app and play stores last week, now means that anyone living and working in Ireland that has a Google or Apple account in another country can now download the app and play their part in helping to suppress the virus.

"It also makes it possible for people visiting Ireland to use it while they're here to protect others, and information is being displayed at Dublin Airport to promote the app".

Infectious disease specialist Professor Sam McConkey has also said it helps speed up the contact tracing process.

"I'm hoping this new app we have is going to speed up some of the contact tracing, but also getting those phone calls to the contacts done within three, six or 12 hours - so that people aren't going to work the next day after their contact was found to be positive".

The COVID Tracker app can be downloaded here

Main image: A mobile phone showing the Covid Tracker app. Picture by: Leah Farrell/Rollingnews.ie

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COVID Tracker Close Contact Covid Covid Tracker App Elizabeth Canavan Hse Tracker App

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