Secondary pupils are urged to download the Protect Scotland app
As secondary school pupils in Western Isles have started to return to the classroom, those aged 12-15 who have smartphones are being encouraged to download the Protect Scotland app.
The app, extended to include the younger age group in December 2020, will help pupils protect themselves and those in their household from COVID-19, as the part-time return to school gets underway.
NHS Western Isles reminded people of the importance of not only downloading the app, but also ensuring that the code provided is entered if a person tests positive, to anonymously alert those who have been in close contact.
App users who are then alerted are able to isolate quicker, and get tested, to stop the spread.
To date, 1.8 million people in Scotland have downloaded the app, and it has, so far notified almost 40,000 people to self-isolate.
The aim is to increase the app’s reach further, particularly as people start to come together in school settings over the coming weeks, to offer an additional layer of protection and reduce the risk of people spreading the virus unknowingly.
Dr Maggie Watts, Director of Public Health NHS Western Isles said: “I would encourage those aged 12 – 15 to consider downloading the free Protect Scotland app, and parents to encourage their children to get the app, if they have a compatible smartphone.
“The app helps support NHS Scotland’s Test and Protect system, adding an additional means of notifying people who have been exposed to the virus so they can isolate far quicker.
“Whilst the app runs in the background, we’re asking those who test positive and are provided with a code to make sure it is entered. Only by doing this can close contacts be quickly notified, self-isolate and get tested, which will help stop the spread of COVID-19.”
Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, John Swinney, said: “The Protect Scotland app has been and remains a vital tool in the reducing the spread of COVID-19, particularly with the new, more transmissible strains in circulation.
“Whilst lateral flow testing is in place for senior secondary pupils and will be extended to S1-S3 pupils after the easter holidays, the app runs in the background and adds an additional protection meaning pupils will be notified far quicker if they come into contact with someone who has the virus.
“As pupils start to come back together, the more people that use it, the more effective it will be in slowing the spread of COVID-19.”
Download the free app today at protect.scot and protect yourself, your family, and Scotland against coronavirus.”
Residents are also being reminded of the need to exercise caution at all times, including when car sharing on the islands. You should use a face mask or covering, sit apart, keep the windows open to ensure a supply of fresh air, and try to restrict the number of people sharing to two.
NHS Western isles are also reminding islanders to use the guidance provided in FACTS. These, and other information is available at the website at: https://www.coronavirus.wi.nhs.scot/