State launches COVID-19 exposure app


PHILADELPHIA, PHILADELPHIA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine held a news conference on Tuesday announcing the launch of the state’s COVID-19 Alert PA app.

The app uses technology designed by Apple and Google that detects if you have been in close contact with another user who has tested positive for COVID-19. It will send you a notification making you aware of the exposure and gives further guidance on what is to be done next.

“The last seven months have shown that we are most successful when we unite against COVID-19 and work together for the common good, and I am proud to be here with Dr. Levine to announce an important new technology that will allow us to do just that,” Gov. Wolf said.

In addition to exposure, the app also notifies the user of the state’s daily coronavirus case numbers. The app doesn’t use location services to track, and is completely anonymous.

“We are very committed to and conscious of protecting the privacy and security of all Pennsylvanians,” Dr. Levine said in a release. “COVID Alert PA will not track your location or collect any personal information from you—it is simply an exposure notification tool. The app uses Bluetooth technology to send a notification if someone has been in close contact with an individual who later tested positive for COVID-19. This is the same technology that your smartphone uses to connect to your wireless Bluetooth headphones, or your car. The app will never ask you to turn on your location.”

The app is free and available to smartphone users from the Apple App store or Google Play store.

We’ll have more on how it works and what the public has to say later on Eyewitness News at 11 p.m.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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