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Health department’s coronavirus app will notify you if you’ve been near someone who tested positive

App expected to launch next month

RICHMOND, Va. – The Virginia Department of Health is deploying new strategies to combat the coronavirus.

VDH now has more than 1,500 contact tracers.

State Health Commissioner Dr. Norm Oliver said Wednesday that in early August, they’ll be rolling out a new app, COVID Wise, that will notify you if you’ve been in close proximity to someone who’s tested positive.

“Every user will decide whether or not to opt in to receive exposure notifications and if a person is diagnosed with COVID-19, it is up to them whether or not to share the results with COVID Wise,” Oliver said.

Oliver said in order for the app to be effective, it will have to be widely used, with hundreds of thousands, if not millions of users.

Oliver also said VDH is teaming up with the University of Virginia on a study to identify how many adults in Virginia already have COVID antibodies.

Preliminary results show that number is currently only about 2.4%.

“The big takeaway from this, of course, is that the overwhelming majority, a very large portion of the population in the commonwealth, is still vulnerable to infection and we must continue to take precautionary measures,” Oliver said.

He urged Virginians to continue practicing social distancing, wearing face masks and washing their hands frequently.


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