The state of Virginia has become the first in America to deploy the Covidwise app that automatically notifies people if they might have been exposed to the virus, using technology developed by Apple and Google. Other states, including Alabama, North Dakota, Pennsylvania and South Carolina have expressed interest in the tech.
The app, developed by SpringML, uses Bluetooth to detect when someone who downloaded the app has spent been in close contact – defined as within six feet for at least 15 minutes – with another app user who later tests positive for the COVID-19. It enables anyone who tests positive to anonymously notify others app users.
The app does not track the user’s location or collect personal information
The Virginia health department will verify positive test results and issue app users who want to report them with a PIN number tied to their lab records in order to prevent fraudsters sharing false positives.