False COVID 19 Positive due to the Track and Trace app

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False COVID 19 Positive due to the Track and Trace app

A coronavirus outbreak in Tesco supermarket has caused a stir amongst staff and residents. The confirmed cases work in different stores on St Ives, Truro, and Launceston. The supermarket has confirmed that all the close contacts of the confirmed cases have been alerted. It has also stated that they are striving to safeguard the safety of their staff and clients. The measures they have adopted include installing protective screens at their checkouts, regular cleaning of surfaces and equipment, and social distancing.

However, the Track and Trace app in phones is believed to be generating false-positive alerts. A sign in Tesco, Redruth store’s staffroom encourages staff to pause the app when leaving their phones in their lockers. Other companies have also ordered their staff to disable the app to avoid unnecessary isolation. Everyone is required by the law to self-isolate themselves if the NHS Test/ Trace app.

The NHS app guide directs that you should pause the app when you have total protection from other people. You should also pause the app when storing your cell phone in a communal area. When you are in a health care centre and wearing a medical-grade PPE, you ought not to switch on the app.

Earlier last year, scientists had warned that users receiving a false positive are more likely to contract the disease sooner. They also pointed out the app has a high probability of generating one false warning in every three alerts. However, it is worth noting that the false positive alerts are made on close contacts of an infected person.

These contacts are at a higher risk of falling sick due to their contact with the patient. Therefore, whether the alerts are true or false, such people need to take a test to ascertain their status before it is too late.

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