California COVID-19 iPhone contact tracing app launches to provide exposure notifications

California COVID-19 iPhone contact tracing - mobile phone with contact tracing app

Following a pilot program last month, the state has now rolled out the application.

The California COVID-19 iPhone contact tracing app was launched last week. This followed a pilot of the application last month, almost six months after Google and Apple first made the Android and iPhone feature available.

The state is aiming to use the app to help its 40 million residents to remain safer during the pandemic.

Many other US states – and a number of countries worldwide, for that matter – have been using the technology in the California COVID-19 iPhone contact tracing app for weeks or even months. The home state of Apple has now finally provided this support to its residents in partnership with Google.

The state suffered early by the pandemic, as did New York, which has already implemented a similar contact tracing app. This seemed somewhat out of order, as California is recognized for its silicone valley and for remaining at the cutting edge of technology. Comparatively, its response in implementing this app has been a slow one.

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The California COVID-19 iPhone contact tracing application is called the CA Notify app.

The state’s Exposure Notifications software was developed to work in conjunction with that application. However according to the CA Notify official website, it isn’t necessary to download the application in order to opt-in for the contact tracing on Android or iPhone devices. Governor Gavin Newsome announced the public rollout last week.

The framework customized within the state works as follows:

  • The app alerts a user of contact with a confirmed COVID-19 positive individual exposure after having been within 6 feet of that person for at least 15 minutes.
  • Users of the California COVID-19 iPhone contact tracing app who receive a positive test result will receive a text message from the state’s Department of Public Health. That text provides a code that they can then enter into the CA Notify application. This triggers the alert to notify any phones that had met the exposure criteria within the prior 14 days.
  • California COVID-19 iPhone contact tracing - mobile phone with contact tracing appThe app is designed not to collect or share any personal or location information among its users.

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