COVID-19 NI
Limit contact with other people Keep your distance if you go out (stay 2 metres apart) Wash your hands well and often Work from home if you can Wear a suitable face covering in certain indoor settings Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms

Contact Tracing

Contact tracing is an established method to help prevent the further spread of infections such as COVID-19, and we are now using this approach to help prevent the spread of the virus.

StopCOVID NI and technology used

StopCOVID NI contact tracing app

The StopCOVID NI contact tracing app was launched on 31st July 2020 for NI citizens over the age of 18. A young person App will be available for 11 year olds and over from the end of September 2020.

StopCOVID NI notifications explained

1. Exposure ‘log’ notifications

stopCOVID app exposure log notification

This is an image of an exposure ‘log’ notification. It is not an exposure notification.  On seeing this you should not self-isolate.

It means you have been close to another app user, but does not follow the setting of 2 metres or less, for 15 minutes or more. It is a problem with the IOS system that Apple will be removing in future versions.

Only if you have been close enough, for long enough, to an app user that tests positive, will you receive a clear exposure notification from the app.

2. Exposure notifications

stopCOVID app exposure notification

This is an image of an exposure notification. If you receive this notification it means you have been close to another app user who has tested positive.

3. Exposure alert in the app

stopCOVID app exposure homepage

This is an image from the StopCOVID NI app once you have received an exposure notification. If you tap on the ‘read more’ button you can see information on what to do next.

4. Exposure alert in the app – further information

stopCOVID app exposure further information

The image above shows the additional information you will see in the app if you receive an exposure notification. It explains how long you must self-isolate for, why you must do so, and links to read more about close contact and self-isolation.

Read more about this app and the technology used here https://covid-19.hscni.net/stop-covid-ni-mobile-app/

What is meant by close contact?

Close contacts are:

  • People you spend 15 minutes or more with, at a distance of less than two metres.
  • people you have direct contact with – such as household members, sexual partners or people with whom you have had face-to-face conversations at a distance of less than one metre.

The contact must have taken place between two days before and up to seven days after symptoms appeared.

What should I do if I’ve been in contact with someone who has COVID-19 symptoms but hasn’t tested positive?

If the person you have been in contact with has not tested positive for COVID-19, you do not need to self-isolate. You should continue to social distance and stay at home as much as possible.

If you start to develop COVID-19 symptoms you should self-isolate and book a test.

Key messages:

  • Monitor your health: As you have been in contact with someone who has coronavirus symptoms, you should start to monitor your own health. If you develop a continuous cough, high temperature or loss of taste or smell, you should self-isolate immediately.
  • Follow government advice: If you do not have symptoms you do not need to self-isolate. If you have to leave your house for essential travel, you should follow current government advice on social distancing.

What should I do if I’ve been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19?

You should:

  • Self-isolate for 14 days: As you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, you should self-isolate for 14 days from when you were in contact with that person.
  • Monitor your health: If you develop a continuous cough, high temperature or loss of taste or smell, you should book a test.

If you start to develop COVID-19 symptoms you should continue to self-isolate and book a test https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-and-tracing/ask-for-a-test-to-check-if-you-have-coronavirus/.

Why are we contact tracing?

The purpose of contact tracing services is to track and prevent further spread of infections by identifying people who may have come into contact with an infected person.

By collecting further information about people who have been in contact with someone with COVID-19, we can notify them to self-isolate.

Contact tracing will protect the community, save lives and help us to avoid a future lockdown.

Find out more about contact tracing at https://www.publichealth.hscni.net/covid-19-coronavirus/testing-and-tracing-covid-19/contact-tracing-faqs