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Covid Tracker App advice for staff wearing PPE

All health care workers and GPs are encouraged to download and use the app, but there are some simple steps you will need to take to ensure that you do not receive close contact alerts when the risk of transmission is reduced or non-existent due to the use of PPE.

Published: 28 October 2020

The COVID Tracker App currently has 1.32 million users and has sent close contact alerts to 8.2k people allowing them to restrict their movement quickly and get access to testing.

The latest release of the COVID Tracker App (28 October 2020) has a new feature which has been developed specifically for Health Care Workers. The new feature allows you to pause contact tracing for a period of time and sends you a reminder to switch it back on.

Click here to download the app 

We encourage all health care workers and GPs to download and use the app, but there are some simple steps you will need to take to ensure that you do not receive close contact alerts when the risk of transmission is reduced or non-existent due to the use of PPE.

Using the app during patient care

The latest release of the COVID Tracker App has a new feature which has been developed specifically for Health Care Workers. The new feature allows you to pause contact tracing for a period of time and sends you a reminder to switch it back on.

We recommend that if you are wearing appropriate PPE when providing care to patients that you use the pause feature This will stop you receiving a close contact alert relating to contacts that happen while you are wearing PPE.

You can access this new feature by updating the app to the latest version available in the app or play store. You should also ensure that your phone’s software is up-to-date by installing any updates from Apple or Google. When you want to pause contact tracing at the start of your shift, click on the contact tracing icon at the bottom of the app and select when you want to be reminded to switch contact tracing back on and then click on the Pause Contact Tracing button.

The phone will send you a notification to remind you to turn contact tracing back on

If you are caring for patients while wearing PPE, the COVID Tracker app will not be able to distinguish that you are in PPE. Therefore, if you spend more than 15 minutes within 2 metres of a patient who subsequently tests positive for COVID-19, the app may identify you as being a close contact.

Click here for further PPE guidance for staff

If you receive a close contact alert

If you are a health care worker and you receive a close contact alert, you should request a call back from the contact tracing team. The team will tell you what steps to take. Always follow HPSC protocols and any local guidelines on what to do if you are in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

You can find out how to switch contact tracing on and off here.