47ºF

Virginia launches coronavirus tracking app, COVIDWISE

App available on both Apple and Android devices

RICHMOND, Va. – There seems to be an app for everything, and now there’s one for tracking coronavirus cases.

During his Wednesday news conference, Gov. Northam announced that COVIDWISE is now available on both Apple and Android devices.

Virginia is the first state in the country to use the technology, created by Apple and Google.

“This app doesn’t know who you are or where you are. It will never know,” said Dr. Norm Oliver, Virginia’s health commissioner.

“This app does not track or store your personal information,” said Northam. “While we want everyone to download it, it is voluntary.”

The app does not use GPS data, rather, it uses Bluetooth Low Energy technology, to quickly notify users who have likely been exposed so you can reduce the risk of infection for your friends and family and help Virginia stop the spread, according to the COVIDWISE website.

[Where are Virginia’s coronavirus cases? The health department’s interactive map]

After downloading the app, users are prompted to opt-in to the notification system.

Once you opt-in, the app will generate an anonymous token for your device, which neither identifies you or your location.

Then, in a non-battery-draining fashion, your phone will communicate with other phones around you to exchange these tokens.

Daily, your phone will download the list of all tokens associated with a positive COVID-19 case and check it against the tokens you’ve encountered.

If there’s a match on the positive list and your list, you’ll receive a notification.

Have more questions about COVIDWISE? The Virginia Department of Health has posted an FAQ page on its website to help answer them


About the Author: