As our pals at Pedestrian TV have reported today, more than 700,000 COVID case alerts were ‘sent’ to NSW locals via the Service NSW app over the past three weeks. The only issue is that it appears very few people were aware of their connection to the exposure sites because of the app’s lack of a notification function.
Though the case alerts are currently present in the app, it appears there is a lack of public knowledge regarding these case alerts attached to your recent check-ins. Unsettling, no? Especially considering lockdown has ended for double-vaccinated NSW locals.
A Service NSW spokesperson is quoted by the SMH explaining that:
“People who receive these COVID-19 case alerts should monitor for symptoms and get a COVID-19 test if they feel unwell.
“NSW Health is continuing to actively contact trace including directly contacting positive cases, close contacts and workplaces where transmission has occurred. Between 30 September and 25 October, there were more than 700,000 COVID-19 case alerts.”
However, when the outlet spoke with software developers on this process, they were told that case alerts without notifications “would be almost useless”.
If the news in this space has left you feeling concerned, allow us to help with a little guidance on exactly how you can search your check-ins for potential visits to COVID exposure sites.
How can I search the Service NSW app for case alerts?
The process is, thankfully, pretty simple. To see if you’ve been to any recent COVID exposure sites, all you need to do is:
- Log into the Service NSW app
- Click ‘COVID Safe Check-in’ under Services
- Click ‘History’
- Scroll through your list of recent check-in locations and look out for a red ‘COVID-19 case alert’ icon
How long will we need to wait for case alert notifications?
While the lack of notifications until this point is frustrating, the SMH has reported we can likely expect the Service NSW app to introduce notifications in “a matter of days”.
Service NSW chief executive Damon Rees is quoted confirming:
“The push notifications, we hope to add on Friday [October 29], which will I think be the additional piece that’s needed there to draw as much attention as possible,” he said.
“If there’s been a confirmed visit to a venue by someone who is COVID positive, if you have visited that venue within the 24 hours following, then that would appear on your history and – from Friday – you would get the notification asking you to check your history”.
The outlet also shared that anyone who receives one of these case alert notifications will be asked to monitor for symptoms and get tested if unwell. They will not be considered close or casual contacts to COVID cases.
This update follows the news that Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello had originally told the Herald that COVID case alert notifications would roll out for Service NSW on December 1. Apparently, that plan has now been sped up.