Dudley borough residents are being urged to complete a new coronavirus symptom-checking service to help the NHS coordinate its response to the virus.
The NHS coronavirus status checker was launched at the weekend.
It is open to anyone in the UK to use and, in its initial phase, the NHS is particularly keen for anyone who thinks they may be displaying potential coronavirus symptoms, no matter how mild, to complete it.
The information gathered will help the NHS to plan its response to the outbreak, indicating when and where more resources like oxygen, ventilators and additional staff might be needed and will provide valuable insight into the development and progression of the virus across the country.
It’s made clear to anyone using the site the checker is not a triage or clinical advice tool and they should visit 111 online for medical advice about their symptoms.
The checker can be found at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus-status-checker
Councillor Nicolas Barlow, cabinet member for health and adult social care, said:
"The NHS is wanting to learn as much as possible about this virus, and is asking everyone to help.
"If you’ve experienced potential coronavirus symptoms, no matter how mild, I would urge you to use this new status checker to help collect essential information on the virus and allow NHS resources to be allocated where they are needed most."
Dr David Hegarty, Chair, Dudley Clinical Commissioning Group, said:
"It is very clear that around the country we are experiencing different levels of infection.
"I would like to thank everyone in Dudley who is already participating, and urge everyone else to download the app and check in every day, whether you are experiencing symptoms of coronavirus or feeling fine.
"Your participation will help us to understand how the virus is progressing and also to help us understand whether a particular area is at a high risk."
The checker is now live and people can complete it for themselves or on behalf of someone else with their permission.
Other independent apps and websites which have already launched to collect similar data have agreed to work with the NHS and align their products and data as part of this central, national effort.
There’s lots of advice on how people can protect themselves and their families from coronavirus at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus. For further information and guidance, please also visit the council’s own coronavirus pages at www.dudley.gov.uk/coronavirus.