The smartphone application launched 39 days ago. It uses Bluetooth technology to alert Islanders if they have been in contact with someone who has Covid-19, providing that person also use the app.
It also enables the contact-tracing team to track other users who have been in contact with someone who has newly tested positive for the virus.
During States questions, Deputy Graham Truscott asked Health Minister Richard Renouf for an update on how many ‘direct contacts’ the app, which cost £250,000, had helped to detect so far.
‘The app is an important piece of a much bigger picture in the attempt to control the spread of Covid-19 in the Island,’ said Deputy Renouf.
‘It provides the contact-tracing team with another tool to identify direct contacts of confirmed positive cases. When a person receives a positive test result, they’re interviewed by the contact-tracing team and a significant portion of that interview is used to identify possible contacts within the days leading up to the time of which the positive case starts their isolation. However, these initial interviews are often challenging for the positive case due to the shock of being confirmed as having Covid-19. And for this reason, it’s common for these initial interviews to miss potential direct contacts. It may take a number of phone calls to establish a more complete picture of interactions, so the app helpfully provides an almost instant identification of direct contacts that the positive case might have forgotten about or was not aware of.’
He added: ‘In the first 39 days of the app’s use, 75 positive cases were identified. The contact-tracing team identified that these 75 positive cases were in direct contact with at least 175 other people, of which some went on to test positive.
‘Some of these direct contacts were also identified by other contact-tracing processes but some were not, proving the app’s usefulness.’