The HSE’s long-awaited Covid-19 contact tracing application goes live today and has already been downloaded by more than a quarter of a million people.
Health Minister Stephen Donnelly officially launched the app this morning, saying, “Together we have made a huge collective effort in recent months to limit the spread of COVID-19.
“As we ease the restrictions many important aspects of Irish life are coming back and we can access more services and meet more people.
“The introduction of the COVID Tracker app will allow us to speed up reporting and tracing from the first onset of COVID-19 symptoms, making the app’s role in testing and contact tracing vital for the continued momentum for reopening Irish society and businesses. “
It’s already available as an app for Apple and Android devices and can be found by simply searching for “Covid Tracker” on your regular app stores.
Want to get the latest news and daily headlines straight away? Don’t miss a thing by signing up for our email updates here.
Every day, we’ll send you a summary of the latest news, sports and entertainment, all in one convenient place.
For a more personalized browsing experience, download our free app for Android here or Apple here.
The new health minister said the app “could be and hopefully will be a really powerful part of the toolkit to fight this disease.”
The minister also touched on privacy concerns – saying there will be no giant centralized storage of personal data and that users can choose to share as much or as little personal information as they want.
“This allows each person to play an additional role,” said the minister.
“This will allow us to carry out the contact tracing in a few hours, it will allow people who have the application to have complete control over their own data, there will be no centralization of data.
“People themselves can choose whether they want to share anonymously with close contacts that they have tested positive,” he said.
“It’s a very, very powerful tool. We’ll get into the details tomorrow and really encourage as many people as possible to download and use it.
Sign up for the FREE Irish Mirror Coronavirus Newsletter by simply entering your email address here.
The update will arrive in your inbox daily and give you all the latest news you need to know regarding the coronavirus in Ireland.
Whether it’s the latest restrictions, opening hours of supermarkets, schools and workplaces or anything else, this newsletter will have you covered for everything.
You can unsubscribe from this service at any time. And rest assured that your data will not be shared with any other party.
The application has three specific functions:
- Digital contact tracing of close contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases.
- Allows users to record if they have symptoms.
- Provide daily COVID-19 information from a trusted source.
Once the app is downloaded, you will be asked if you want to provide your phone number.
As part of the reminder system, if someone you have been in close contact with is positive for the virus, the app will send you a close contact alert.
The HSE will also call you if you choose to provide your number.
The app will only share your phone number with the HSE if you receive a close contact alert.
The recording feature asks you to provide basic information such as your age, gender, and the country you live in before recording if you have symptoms or feel well every day.
Other features include daily updates on coronavirus figures such as cases and deaths and a full breakdown of cases by county in Ireland.
The app also provides information on how the virus is spreading the most in Ireland, whether through community transmission, close contact or travel.
The Covid Tracker app was developed by the HSE and the Department of Health, in collaboration with the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) and An Garda Siochana, as well as technical partners from the Irish private sector and partners scientists from Science Foundation Ireland. .
A study by the Science Foundation Ireland shows that the majority of Irish people are in favor of an app, with 82% of those surveyed ready to install it.