Virginia becomes first state to release a COVID-19 tracking app – You should download it

Image+via+Virginia+Mercury

Image via Virginia Mercury

Helen Ehrlich, Editor-In-Chief

 

Virginia has released an app, called COVIDWISE, that informs users if they have come in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Virginia is the first state in the United States to do so.

 

The app uses bluetooth technology, meaning it cannot track users. It doesn’t collect names or locations, despite the cries of privacy violations from some Virginians. This also means that for the app to accurately collect data, many people must have it on their iPhones or Androids. The technology recognizes when users spend time with each other.

 

 

If a user tests positive, the Virginia Department of Health will confirm the results and give users a code that should be entered into the app. If the user chooses to verify the results with the code (which is not mandatory), the software uses send alerts to users who it registered as being within six feet of them for 15 or more minutes.

 

“Knowing your exposure history allows you to self-quarantine effectively, seek timely medical attention and reduce potential exposure risk. The more Virginians use COVIDWISE, the greater the likelihood that you will receive timely exposure notifications that lead to effective disease prevention,”said State Health Commissioner Norman Oliver.

 

The app is free and can be found across device app stores.