Acclaim Logistics’ team members on the Isle of Wight have been getting used to a track and trace system quite different to the usual APC parcel tracking system, instead acting as frontline testers of the COVID-19 ‘Test, Track and Trace’ app which is being trialled on the Island.
Since lockdown and social distancing restrictions were introduced, movement has been limited in an attempt to stop the spread of COVID-19. As the ‘stay at home’ message is eased across the UK, the ‘Test, Track and Trace’ app is being rolled out in an attempt to limit the number of new infections by alerting those who have unknowingly been in contact with someone with COVID-19 symptoms.
How does it work?
The aim of the contact-tracing app is to alert those who have been in close contact with someone displaying COVID-19 symptoms. This new technology is available to download on any smartphone via the Google or Apple app store, and uses Bluetooth signalling to ‘sense’ when another user with the app comes into range. The app stores the data of close-contact app users for 28 days before deleting them.
Users record the first half of their postcode on the app, which is used by the NHS to determine coronavirus ‘hotspots’, and users can log in to report any symptoms. This process is similar to a 111 phone call, where you are asked a series of questions, the answers of which are analysed by NHS AI to determine whether the symptoms meet the threshold of COVID-19. Those who enter accurate COVID-19 symptoms will be advised to take a coronavirus test, and self-isolate.
If you report COVID-19 symptoms into your app and are deemed to have contracted the virus, the Test, Track & Trace app will also send an alert to all app users sensed by your Bluetooth signal during the previous 28 days. These users will be alerted via the app, by phone or by email (depending on your contact preferences), advised to self-isolate and offered public health advice.
Why choose the Isle of Wight?
The Isle of Wight was chosen to trial the app as its unique island community allows contact-tracing to occur in a contained environment. The government hopes that following the trial on the island, the app will be available across the UK and will help the NHS identify virus hotspots, thereby preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Acclaim Logistics’ depot manager, Dylan Amey, is a resident on the Isle of Wight, and is participating in the app trial. He commented:
“The app has been pushed across the whole of the Island as a trial, so we were able to choose if we wanted to be involved or not. I choose to trial it. The app seems pretty basic and doesn’t do anything unless you come in contact with the virus or record COVID-19 symptoms. The majority of (Acclaim Logistics) drivers have the app, and I know many others who have downloaded it. So far, no one I know has been alerted by the app, which is a good thing I suppose! So many people on the Island have offered to help, and we are very happy to trial it for the rest of the UK.
It’s all very new at the moment – I hope the trial works so it can be rolled out across the rest of the UK and we can help prevent the spread of the virus.”
When is it available to the rest of the UK?
The NHS and government are hopeful that the app will help to ease the lockdown over the coming weeks and month and get the UK back on its feet following more than two months of disruption.
Predictions estimate that the app will be available to the rest of the UK in June, following the Isle of Wight trial. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said:
“The Isle of Wight is playing a vital role with this pioneering work to help keep Britain safe. This will pave the way for a nationwide roll-out when the time is right.
Coronavirus is one of the greatest challenges our country has ever faced, and this app will play a vital role in getting Britain back on her feet.
The app will help control the spread of coronavirus by alerting people they may have come into contact with it and recommending appropriate action.”
About Acclaim Logistics
Established in 1993, Acclaim Logistics is a trusted logistics partner for businesses and individuals across the South Coast and Isle of Wight. Specialising in pallet and parcel distribution and transporting freight between the Isle of Wight and mainland, Acclaim delivers industry-leading logistics services through the UK’s trusted pallet networks, Palletline and Palletways, and the UK’s largest parcel delivery network, APC Overnight.