Over 3,000 'pinged' by virus phone app in Northumberland

The NHS virus alert appThe NHS virus alert app
The NHS virus alert app
Over 3,000 people in Northumberland were ‘pinged’ by the NHS Covid-19 phone app and told to isolate in the latest week, figures reveal.

NHS figures show 3,312 people in the area were contacted by the Covid app in the week to July 21, the latest available data – a decrease from the 4,008 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.

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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.

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.

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Separate Department for Health and Social Care figures show contact tracers told 4,358 people in Northumberland to self-isolate after being in contact with someone who tested positive for Covid-19 in the week to July 21 – down from 4,590 the week before.

The figures show 4,697 people who came into close contact with someone who tested positive for Covid-19 were transferred to Test and Trace – meaning 339 contacts were not reached.