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State develops app that notifies residents when they’ve been exposed to someone with COVID-19

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Posted at 10:50 AM, Dec 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-07 18:19:39-05

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KERO) — Governor Gavin Newsom announced the statewide launch of CA Notify, a new digital tool that will help reduce the transmission of COVID-19.

Starting Thursday, Californians can opt-in to receive COVID-19 notifications informing them if they have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for the virus. The tool was developed in partnership with Google and Apple and piloted with the help of the University California, San Diego and the University of California, San Francisco.

“Throughout this pandemic we have tapped California’s talent pool to fight this virus and that includes working with tech innovators like Apple and Google,” said Governor Newsom. “CA Notify will help slow the spread by alerting those who opt in to receive an alert if they’ve come into contact with someone who has tested positive. The process is private, anonymous and secure, and is one of the many tools in the state’s data-driven approach to help reduce the spread.”

Newsom said you can download the CA notify app from the Google Play Store. Californians may start receiving availability alerts from their phones on Thursday.

When individuals voluntarily activate CA Notify, the tool uses Bluetooth technology to exchange random codes between phones without revealing the user’s identity or location. If a CA Notify user tests positive for COVID-19, they will receive a verification code to plug into the app, if they choose. Any other CA Notify users who have been within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more of the COVID-19 positive individual will get an anonymous notification of possible exposure.

Individuals can learn more about CA Notify by visiting this website.