New COVID-19 tracking app for Pa. launches today

Coronavirus

COVID Alert PA is now available for free download in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store

COVID, Coronavirus, Lab Testing, Research

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(WKBN) – Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine discussed the launch of a new COVID-19 tracking app.

COVID Alert PA uses Exposure Notification System technology developed by Apple and Google. The app can detect if you have been in close contact with another user who later tested positive for COVID-19 and will send a notification to your phone called a “COVID-19 Exposure Alert”. If you tap on the notification, you will be given public health guidance on what to do next.

In addition, the app will provide users with the latest information on COVID-19 in Pennsylvania from the department’s COVID-19 data dashboard.

The app does not enable any location services or tracks anyone and is designed to be completely anonymous. The Exposure Notification System works by using Bluetooth Low Energy, which allows phones with the app to recognize when it is close to another phone. Proximity is the only thing measured between phones, not location.

Available now free to smartphone users as a download from the Apple App store or Google Play store, COVID Alert PA is available in English and Spanish.

Dr. Levine has said usage of the app is voluntary, but if more people use it, it will be more successful in tracking the spread of the virus.

“We all play a part in stopping the spread of COVID-19, which is why I am encouraging every Pennsylvanian to add their phone to the fight and download COVID Alert PA today,” Dr. Levine said. “By utilizing this technology, we can quickly notify more people who have been exposed to COVID-19. This innovative solution will enhance our COVID-19 response and give residents another tool to stay calm, stay alert and stay safe all in the palm of their hands.”

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