A PING on a mobile phone is all it takes to find out you might have been in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
Tamworth Regional Council mayor Col Murray was one of the first to be tested at the hospital's coronavirus clinic blitz on Monday, and has downloaded the COVIDSafe app that alerts members of the community to possible exposure.
"For me that was a very easy decision," he said.
"I believe it's a responsible decision for any community member to do.
"If you think for a moment that the Australian government is a threat to your security, you need to have a think about the other social media apps that you are already engaged with - that track you every inch of the way, everywhere you go and sell your information to other users."
The app is free to download and all users need to do is keep it running with Bluetooth turned on.
A phone will take note of contact with other users by securely logging their reference code, if someone is diagnosed with coronavirus, the close contact information stored in the phone can be uploaded and used with consent from the user.
It means health officials can quickly trace people who have been exposed to the virus in the hopes of flattening the curve and allow restrictions to be lifted earlier than otherwise possible.
This week Tamworth is the hub of a COVID-19 testing blitz, and Cr Murray was among those who decided to be tested to be on the safe side.
"I have had a sore throat and there are some triggers people are required to demonstrate," he said.
"You're protecting your own community, those around you that we love and cherish and want to look after.
"Please don't relax your social isolation, we have such enviable statistics now, we are getting some good consistency in the low numbers of new cases."
Member for Parkes Mark Coulton has also backed the app, urging others to download COVIDSafe.
"COVIDSafe will speed up the process of identifying people who have been in close contact with someone diagnosed with coronavirus, quickly stopping further spread of the virus in the community," he said.
Information provided through the app can only be accessed by authorised health officials.
Unless a person is diagnosed, no personal information is disclosed or able to be accessed.
Our COVID-19 news articles relating to public health and safety are free for anyone to access. However, we depend on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, please subscribe here. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support.