New updates have been made to the government’s NHS COVID-19 app on Monday, as 524 new cases of coronavirus are confirmed in Greater Lincolnshire.
The government said this will “result in fewer contacts being advised to self isolate following close contact with a positive case”.
That’s because instead of looking for close contacts five days prior to a positive test, it will look back two days only.
NHS bosses said the update will not impact the app’s sensitivity or risk threshold, and will result in the same number of high-risk contacts being advised to self-isolate.
Almost 700,000 people were told by the app last week to self-isolate, which caused staffing disruption across the retail, manufacturing and hospitality sectors.
Meanwhile, the government’s COVID-19 dashboard on Monday reported 364 new cases in Lincolnshire, 102 in North East Lincolnshire and 58 in North Lincolnshire.
NHS figures for deaths in Lincolnshire’s hospitals showed one further death at a United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust facility. Government figures, however, showed no further updates to their deaths data.
Nationally cases increased by 21,952 to 5,902,354, while deaths rose by 24 to 129,743.
Health and Social Care Secretary, Sajid Javid said: “We want to reduce the disruption that self-isolation can cause for people and businesses, while ensuring we’re protecting those most at risk from this virus.
“This update to the NHS COVID-19 app will help ensure that we are striking the right balance.
“It’s so important that people isolate when asked to do so in order to stop the spread of the virus and protect their communities.”
The update however comes one day too late, as earlier on Monday councillors and members of the public who attended a City of Lincoln Council meeting last week have been told to take a COVID test after a positive case was confirmed.
The authority said it will revert to using Zoom for this week’s council meetings, with face-to-face meetings to resume next week.
It is understood several people who attended last Tuesday’s Full Council meeting (July 27), though not all, have been pinged by the NHS COVID-19 app — however, the council did not confirm how many.
Last week, the number of new COVID-19 cases in Lincolnshire dropped by 10% (3,708 total), as quarantine rules have been lifted for fully-vaccinated travellers from the EU and US on Monday.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the government wants to take a “balanced approach” to travel.
Speaking during a visit to Stevenage, he responded to questions about a potential “amber watchlist” which has come under criticism from opposition and tourism bosses who say it could be too complicated.
“I understand people care very much about their holidays, people want to go abroad,” he said, but added COVID was “still dangerous” and that there was a need to “try and stop variants” from entering the country.
Elsewhere, there are reports that 17 extra countries could be added to the green travel list this week.
PC agency, a travel consultancy, analysed data to say Germany, Canada, Austria, Romania, Poland, Bosnia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Slovenia could be added due to low infection rates and high vaccination uptakes.
The Joint Biosecurity Centre is due to decide later this week which countries will go on which list.
Coronavirus data for Greater Lincolnshire on Monday, August 2
82,439 cases (up 524)
- 53,872 in Lincolnshire (up 364)
- 12,654 in North Lincolnshire (up 58)
- 15,913 in North East Lincolnshire (up 102)
2,218 deaths (no change)
- 1,631 from Lincolnshire (no change)
- 305 from North Lincolnshire (no change)
- 282 from North East Lincolnshire (no change)
of which 1,327 hospital deaths (up one)
- 821 at United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust (up one)
- 43 at Lincolnshire Community Health Service hospitals (no change)
- 1 at Lincolnshire Partnership Foundation Trust (no change)
- 462 in Northern Lincolnshire (NLAG) (no change)
5,880,667 UK cases, 129,719 deaths