“We understand that warning can seem scary. Live as normal, but keep an eye on your own health condition and test yourself quickly if you get symptoms. ” says FHI.
Pling! You have a new message.
“You have been near a person with covid-19 and may have been infected.”
The message comes from the Infection Stop app. In the last 24 hours, 16,877 new infections have been registered in this country. It is a new record.
If you have not already received it, there is a chance that the alert will appear on your mobile screen in the near future. What are you really doing then?
The app gives you the following message: «Monitor your state of health for 10 days. Have a low threshold to test yourself if you get symptoms. “
Does it sound familiar? Isn’t that how most of us have already lived for almost two years? What is the app good for then?
By using Smittestopp, you alert people you do not remember you have been near, or people you do not know, such as on the bus, at a restaurant or something else, explains assistant FHI director Gun Peggy Knudsen.
On Thursday, 1429 people reported being infected in the app, according to figures from FHI. There are no figures on how many people received infection reports from these in 1429.
Knudsen understands that the warnings can be confusing. If you have received one in the last few days and do not quite know how to deal with it, Knudsen has the following advice:
“We understand that warning can seem scary. Live as normal, but keep an eye on your own health condition and test yourself quickly if you get symptoms. “
Unable to register quick test
FHI is behind the app. It works like this: If you test positive, you state this yourself in the app. It is voluntary. No one can see that it is you who has reported the infection.
But: The positive result must be registered in the municipality you live in. You must therefore have taken a PCR test. So you can not register a positive quick test yourself.
Why? Even FHI does not have a good answer to that.
“This is a good question, and we are now working on looking at whether it is possible to get a solution for registering self-tests in the app,” Knudsen answers.
Once the infection is registered, a warning is sent to people you have been in contact with for up to two days before and up to eight days after your symptoms started. The notification is only sent to people you have been in contact with for more than 15 minutes.
Can register between floors and walls
The app uses Bluetooth technology. It is not 100 percent accurate, FHI writes on its own website. Therefore, do not quarantine – even if you receive notification from the app.
If your neighbor is infected, there is a risk that you will be notified – despite the fact that you have not stayed in the same room.
The Bluetooth signals can travel through walls and floors at short distances. Therefore, it can not be ruled out that you will receive an infection message from people you have never been near.
Aftenposten has asked FHI what it actually takes to get a notice. Can one really get alerts from people you have never been in the same room as?
“It is asked how far away the mobiles are, but basically no.”, Knudsen answers.
She explains that Smittestopp uses the power of radio signals between you and others to classify risk. The signals become weaker when they have to go through walls.
But she “naturally does not want to rule out that it can happen”.
New app – same name
The first app was launched on April 16, 2020. But the app received sharp criticism from several quarters. Among other things, it was accused of violation of the privacy regulations.
And in June 2020, it was stopped. The Data Inspectorate banned the data collection in the app. And the authorities deleted all the data.
The old app has been discontinued. Apart from the name, the new app has almost nothing in common with the old one.
It uses Bluetooth instead of GPS, it does not store where you have been, it uses less battery, the information is stored only on your phone and not on a control panel. The app does not collect data where you can be identified.
In total, 1.25 million people have downloaded the app. But it is rarely used. Figures from FHI have shown that only 2.7 percent of all infected people have notified their close contacts via the app, wrote NRK this week.
Less than 1 in 20 cases of infection are shared in the Infection Stop app
FHI wanted to do something about it. If you received an SMS from FHI this week, you are not alone. The SMS was sent out to 4 million over 16 years.
“The infection is now rising sharply. Download Stop Infection in the App Store / Google Play, and notify infection to known and unknown close contacts if you are infected “, was the SMS.
131,900 did as they were told, FHI states. Today, Smittestopp is the No. 1 app in the App Store under the category of medicine.
It is a very good result based on such general SMS messages to the entire population, according to Knudsen.
However, she wants to remind people to go into the app themselves and register an infection. It does not happen automatically.
According to FHI, the app is very accurate. It can detect over 90 percent of all your close contacts.
“If everyone had used the app, it would have been a very effective way to report infection.” writes Knudsen in an e-mail.