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Health and Medicine

California Launches 'California Notify,' An App That Helps With COVID-19 Contact Tracing

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Would you want to know if you’ve been around someone with COVID-19? There’s an app for that.

California Department of Public Health has launched an app to assist with COVID-19 contact tracing.

Users who download the app “California Notify” can receive notifications on their smartphones that tell them if they’ve been exposed to someone with COVID-19.

If a user tests positive for the virus, they log it into their app. Anyone who has been near them for more than 15 minutes in the last 14 days then gets notified.

The app uses Bluetooth technology to recognize if it gets within six feet of another phone with the app on it. It doesn’t collect any personal information or locations. Exposure notifications are especially helpful with contact tracing because they can alert people you may not even know.

Health officials say the more people that download and use the app, the more accurate and effective it can be. In the first week that it was launched, California Notify had more than 7 million activations.