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Help in the fight against COVID-19

Published Thursday, 30 July 2020

York residents are being encouraged to download an app to contribute to vital research into the virus and to help the council and the NHS understand more about the virus.

The COVID-19 Symptom Study app asks people to report on their health, help the NHS and the responses are also contributing to vital research on COVID-19.

Developed by health science company ZOE, nearly four million participants have downloaded the app to date, making it the largest public science project of its kind anywhere in the world.

The information received means researchers will be able to predict who has the virus and so track COVID infections across the UK.

Anyone can sign up, you don’t need to currently have Coronavirus symptoms. The information is also being used to generate new scientific understanding of the very different symptoms the virus causes in different people. People will be asked to provide a regular quick update on how they are feeling.

The research aims to:

  • Better understand symptoms of COVID-19
  • Understand how fast the virus is spreading in your area
  • Identify high risk areas in the country
  • Identify who is most at risk by better understanding symptoms linked to health conditions
  • In the future the hope is they will be able to use this data to help the NHS support sick individuals. This app is not intended to be a diagnostic tool. For official advice about the coronavirus please visit the NHS website

Councillor Carol Runciman, Executive Member for Health and Adult Social Care said: “Thank you to the more than 4,000 York residents who have signed up already and are helping inform our Coronavirus response.

“Across the world we are learning more and more about the virus which will help to keep people safe. This research is already providing useful insights and I would encourage York residents to help if they can by downloading this app.

“This adds to existing measures already in place, such test and trace and our robust infection control measures. Our Public Health team are closely monitoring local data to help us understand and respond to the situation in York. Research is also being shared at a local authority level which will help inform responses to coronavirus.  We take privacy issues very seriously and have been assured by the developers that the app meets all security and privacy standards ”

Dr Andrew Lee, Executive Director of Primary Care and Population Health, NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “The ask here is for people to share information with researchers about their health and their social activities since the start of the pandemic and then provide daily reporting. The app is an important way to study the symptoms of COVID-19 and track the spread of this virus, which ultimately will impact on the health of our patients and the wider public.

“The CCG continues to encourage anyone who is displaying coronavirus symptoms to follow the government advice to have a test and stay at home. GP services are open and running safely for patients with any other health concerns.”​​

For more information and to download the app please visit: covid.joinzoe.com  

Answers to frequently asked questions including how they are protecting privacy is available at https://covid.joinzoe.com/faq