Covid Tracker app goes live


By Mary Dennehy

A COVID-19 tracker app has today being launched by the Department of Health and the HSE, which aims to help identify close contacts of people who test positive for coronavirus.

According to the HSE, the app has been downloaded more than 250,000 since it went live last night.

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The COVID Tracker App, which is available to download free from the App Store and Google Play, provides digital contract tracing of close contacts of confirmed cases, allows users to record if they have symptoms and provides daily information about COVID-19.

According to Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr Ronan Glynn: “Today we are asking the people of Ireland to download the COVID Tracker App.

“Until we have a vaccine, or an effective treatment, testing and contact tracing are vital to our ongoing collective efforts to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

“The app is integral to contact tracing, working in tandem with the key public health measures of social distancing, hand washing, covering our coughs and wearing face coverings, helping us to stay safe and to protect each other.”

According to the Department of Health, the app is private and will record if a user is in close contact with another user by exchanging anonymous codes.

If a person tests positive for COVID-19, they can choose to anonymously alert other app users who they have been in close contact with.

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Every two hours the app downloads a list of anonymous IDs, which have been shared with the HSE by other people using the app who have tested positive for coronavirus.

If another app user has been closer than two metres for more than 15 minutes with any of these phones, they’ll get an alert that they are a close contact.

Paul Reid, HSE Chief Executive Officer, said: “The app will enhance the existing contact tracing operations.

“For those using the app, it can mean a reduction in the time it takes to trace close contacts from days to hours and, importantly, it can also help to identify close contacts who are not known to each other.

“Every additional contact that the app can trace will improve our existing contact tracing operations.

“By downloading the app, you are helping us to reach more people in a shorter time period and to provide the right advice and access to testing.

“This will increase our capacity to suppress the virus."

For further details on the app, how to use it and its privacy and data security, visit

*the app is suitable for phones less than five years old i.e. iPhone6 and Android 7 models upwards

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