Record numbers in Norfolk ‘pinged’ to isolate by NHS Covid app

A message to self-isolate, with one day of required isolation remaining

A message to self-isolate, with one day of required isolation remaining, is displayed on the NHS coronavirus contact tracing app - Credit: PA

Norfolk has seen a record number of people told to isolate after being ‘pinged’ by the NHS Covid-19 app, new figures show.

Every local authority in Norfolk, apart from Breckland, saw its highest ever number of people using the NHS Covid-19 app being sent self-isolation alerts in the week between July 8 and 15. 

In Great Yarmouth the figure was 1,212 people, double the second-highest 596, which occurred on December 30 just prior to the second wave lockdown. 

It comes as rates of coronavirus infection in some Great Yarmouth neighbourhoods have been recorded as almost double the national average.

Though hospital admissions are still lower than during previous waves the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital has reported the deaths of two men in their 40s and 80s who had received treatment for coronavirus.

Anybody in England who tests positive for Covid-19, either through a rapid (LFD) test or a PCR test processed in a laboratory, is transferred to Test and Trace so their contacts can be identified and alerted.

Nationally a record 618,903 alerts were sent to users of the NHS app telling them they had been in close contact with someone who had tested Covid positive.


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Some 475,465 close contacts of people testing positive nationally were identified in the most recent week, of which around nine in 10 (428,001) were reached and asked to self-isolate.

In Norwich's 2,242 people received alerts telling them to isolate. That was 54pc higher than its previous high of 1,452 which was seen the previous week.

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Norfolk as a whole saw 7,881 people receive pings. Before that, the record was 5,580 on December 30.

The latest data suggests the Test and Trace system is facing pressures similar to those seen during the second wave of the virus.

Person self-isolating

Norfolk has seen a record number of people told to isolate after being ‘pinged’ by the NHS Covid-19 app. - Credit: PA

Public health officials in Norfolk have urged people to not turn off the Covid NHS Test and Trace app amid concerns among businesses there could be staff shortages due to a 'pingdemic'.

Louise Smith, director of public health at Norfolk County Council, said: "While I understand it's really inconvenient being asked to self-isolate, my personal view is please keep using the app."
 

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