LOS ANGELES - California Governor Gavin Newsom on Monday announced a new mobile app, called "CA Notify," which allows users to be notified of potential coronavirus exposure.
Newsom said the app requires users to "opt-in" and is privacy protected as your identity is not known and your location is not tracked. Once you activate CA Notify, it does all the work. All you do is keep your Bluetooth on. You will only receive alerts if you were in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19.
The governor said the state worked with Apple and Google on this new technology.
"CA Notify leverages Apple and Goggle technology to notify participants when they have been exposed to a COVID+ individual," state officials explained.
The technology will be available for users beginning on Thursday, Dec. 10, Newsom said.
The app is available for Android users in the Google Play store. After downloading, users will need to turn on the app's notifications.
If you have an iPhone, CA Notify will be available on iOS 13.7 or later. All you need to do is go to "settings" to turn on the CA notify app. Once in settings, scroll down to "Exposure Notifications" and turn on notifications.
Once you've opted in to the program, you will subsequently be notified if you have any potential coronavirus exposure.
If you are exposed to someone who reported a positive diagnosis, you will receive a push notification to alert you. The notification will include instructions on your next steps and who to contact.
According to the state, CA Notify is an added layer of protection for residents and the community.
"In addition to wearing a face covering, physically distancing, and washing your hands, adding your phone will help to keep you and others safe," state officials said.
Apple and Google co-created the "exposure notification" technology to alert phone users if they spent time near someone who tests positive for the coronavirus, so they know to get tested, too.
The technology relies on Bluetooth short-range radio signals to detect when two phones are in close proximity for long enough for someone to likely transmit the virus. Most states measure that close contact as within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes in a day.
So far, 16 U.S. states, plus Guam and Washington, D.C., and more than 30 countries have made the exposure notification system available to their residents.
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