COVID-19 Alert App for Pennsylvania Arriving Next Month

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The Pennsylvania Department of Health is planning to release a COVID-19 exposure notification app next month to help with contact tracing. Image via pacast.com.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health is planning to release a COVID-19 exposure notification app next month to help with contact tracing, writes Liz Tung for the WHYY.

“This app uses Bluetooth technology to let a person know that they have been exposed to COVID-19 without compromising their identity or their location,” said state Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine.

The app is a segment of the state’s larger containment strategy that focuses on increased testing combined with contact tracing. It has been developed in partnership with experts at MIT, the University of Pennsylvania, and developer NearForm.

The app uses the “exposure notification technology” created by Apple and Google to track if a user has come within six feet of somebody for fifteen minutes or longer who has tested positive for COVID-19. The information is then used to improve contact tracing.

“Otherwise we might not be able to do that,” said Levine. “So it’s really going to enhance the work of the case investigators and the contact tracers. It does not replace that in any way.”

The app is both anonymous and voluntary, and does not store its users specific locations.

Read more about the app at the WHYY by clicking here.

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