Pursuant to Article 12 of the Ordinance on the Proximity Tracing System for Coronavirus SARS-COV-2 (OPTS), the Federal Office of Public Health provides the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) with statistical data periodically and in fully anonymised form. The FSO publishes the number of active SwissCovid apps, the number of downloaded SwissCovid apps and the number of entered covid codes and updates these data on working days.
The purpose of the SwissCovid app is to stop COVID-19 from spreading further and to identify any possible second wave in good time in order to tackle it more effectively. The app complements the cantons’ conventional contact tracing of transmission chains.
The SwissCovid app has been available to the public to download via the Apple and Google app stores since 28th May 2020 as a pilot version and since 25th June 2020 as a final version. The development of the number of active SwissCovid apps, the number of SwissCovid apps downloaded by now and the number of covid codes entered by users of the SwissCovid app are shown in graphics. The number of entered covid codes is published with a time delay of two days. This means that codes are also counted when entered by users of the SwissCovid app only one day after issue by the cantonal health authorities.
The release of the app on 25th June 2020 allows for data to be analysed based on the infrastructure of the app-based proximity tracing. For this purpose, the FSO has published the number of active SwissCovid apps on a daily basis since 26th June 2020. This figure provides information on how the SwissCovid app is used by the population on a daily basis. From 23rd July 2020 onwards, the number of active SwissCovid apps is calculated using a new procedure. In addition, the number of downloads of the SwissCovid app and the number of covid codes entered by app users is also published.
The Federal Office of Information Technology, Systems and Telecommunication (FOITT) provides the FSO with daily figures on the number of downloaded and active SwissCovid apps. In addition, the number of ‘covid codes’ entered by app users who have tested positive every day is also provided. The FSO informs the public about this using texts and graphs and makes the relevant data available for download.
Data source and data flow
The number of SwissCovid apps downloaded to date is reported to the FOITT by Apple and Google with a time delay of one to three days.
Until 22nd July 2020, the calculation of the number of active SwissCovid apps was based on the app’s automatic contact with the proximity tracing system to update configuration data. This automatic contact takes place several times a day, enabling the number of active apps per day to be calculated. This number largely corresponds with the number of users of the app but may be lower for technical reasons. This is the case, for example, if apps are not permanently active or when mobile phones are switched off or are not connected to a network.
Since 23rd July 2020, the calculated number of active SwissCovid apps is based on active apps making a dummy request to the proximity tracing system statistically once every five days.
These dummy requests are used to ensure data protection so that users who enter a covid code cannot be identified. The number of dummy requests provides a basis for calculating the number of active apps. This method is more robust than the method based on automatic contact to update the configuration. Further methodological information on the previous and the new calculation method for the number of active SwissCovid Apps can be found here:
In the event of a positive test result for the new coronavirus, the cantonal authorities send a covid code to the app users who have tested positive. If the covid code is entered into the app by the user, other app users who were exposed to a risk of infection are informed automatically. The FOITT provides the FSO every day with the number of active SwissCovid apps, and the daily number of ‘covid codes’ entered by app users who have tested positive is also supplied.
The FSO publishes these figures on working days at 2:00 p.m. by means of texts, graphs and tables. The monitoring covers all people who have downloaded the SwissCovid app to their mobile phone from 25 June 2020 onwards.
The publication of these statistics is still being developed and may be subject to change.