COVID Tracking App Alerts You To Potential Exposures

A new app called CA Notify released by the State of California lets users track their potential exposure to other who test positive with COVID-19.

The new app utilizes Bluetooth to detect when users come into close proximity with other individuals who also have the app installed. When a user tests positive, they have the option in the app to alert others of their potential exposure and allow them to preemptively self quarantine. User tracking is anonymous and doesn’t include any personal information. The app leverages a system developed by Google and Apple to allow COVID-19 spread tracking between users without leaking private information to both other users and government officials.

The app comes at a crucial time when hospitals in California are seeing their ICUs fill to capacity. Many ICUs are facing the prospect of triaging patients, where doctors and nurses must pick and choose who they can take in, turning others away due to a lack of beds. With this app, users can immediately remove themselves from the general public, helping reduce the spread of the virus and reducing the load on hospitals.

Yesterday saw the largest day to day increases in cases, more than 30000 new cases of infection. The large increases in cases can be attributed to lockdown fatigue, people travelling to meet family for the holidays, and businesses ignoring lockdown rules. Thanksgiving and Christmas saw large numbers of people travelling home for the holidays, with more expected for new years.

iPhone users can follow the directions here to enable the built-in tracking in iPhone.

Android users can download the CA Notify app off the Google Play Store here.

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