The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council is calling on members of the public to use the new StopCOVID NI app.
Alderman Mark Fielding has said the technology is another way that people can play their part in the fight against coronavirus.
The smartphone app enhances contact tracing by sending an alert if you have been in close proximity with another user who has tested positive for COVID-19. An anonymised process identifies people who are at risk and by providing self-isolation advice where relevant, it can break transmission chains.
Alderman Fielding said: “The StopCOVID NI app is available now and I would encourage our residents to recognise its significance and download it to their phone today.
“It has the potential to greatly curtail the indiscriminate spread of coronavirus but its success is dependent on widespread public use. We want to protect ourselves and our loved ones so please start using the app now. Set-up is easy and straightforward and as it’s completely anonymous your privacy is protected.
“As restrictions ease, and people begin to socialise and mix again, this app gives us greater confidence when we are out and about and should be utilised by us all.
“The reality is that it could help to save lives and will make Causeway Coast and Glens a safer place for residents and visitors alike. We must remember that COVID-19 continues to represent a very real risk, but by adhering to the health advice and supporting measures like this, we can protect ourselves and others.”
Notes to editors:
The StopCOVID NI proximity app will anonymously alert users if they have been in close contact with another user who has tested positive for the virus.
It harnesses the Google-Apple technology solution (designed to support proximity apps being developed for the pandemic response), using people’s smartphones to log proximity to other user’s devices.
Bluetooth-enabled smart phones already exchange non-identifiable numbers with one another as part of the normal process to identify and connect to devices – this feature is used by the app.
The app does not collect any identifiable information about users, or location data, so no privacy issues are involved.
StopCOVID NI uses an anonymised process to identify people who are at risk and break transmission chains by providing advice to users to self-isolate where relevant.