News Now | United States of America – cnn
With the outbreak of virus cases Corona New across the country, health officials are turning to cell phones to help slow the spread of infection.
Thanks to the technology available on Apple and Google phones, you can now get notifications in some states if you are near someone who later tested positive for the Coronavirus. The alerts come via state health department apps that use bluetooth technology to detect if you (or more precisely, your phone) have been in close contact with an infected person’s phone.
Although these apps cannot keep you safe – they only notify you after you are in danger – they may prevent others from getting infected if you take precautions, such as quarantining, after receiving an alert.
Millions of people sign up for apps, even though these apps are not yet available in many states. Health officials believe that alerts can be especially useful in situations where an infected person has been in contact with strangers – for example on a bus or train – who do not know otherwise have been exposed to the virus.
IPhone and Android devices contain constantly changing anonymous codes that ping nearby phones via bluetooth, a process that begins once the user chooses to receive notifications.
For exposure notifications to be effective, Android users must turn on bluetooth and download the Covid-19 app. On iPhones, the system is already integrated into Settings, although users should go to exposure notifications and make sure alerts are turned on.
And when someone is using the feature, their phone if in the past two weeks has been close to someone infected with the Coronavirus – usually within six feet or less, for at least 15 minutes – will receive an alert informing the user to quarantine and notifying the healthcare provider.
The apps assess your risk on the strength of the Bluetooth signal (how close you are to the other person) and how long you have been connected to it.
At least 15 states participate in the Covid-19 exposure notification system. They include Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, Minnesota, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Wyoming, and Washington, DC.
Some states announced a wave of app subscriptions within weeks of their launch. Maryland launched its notification system on November 10, and more than a million people have registered with the app, said Charlie Geschler, a spokesperson for the state’s Department of Health. He described the app as “a complement to the traditional contact tracing and another toolbox tool” to combat Coronavirus infection.
Colorado, where coronavirus cases and hospitalizations have spiked in recent weeks, has also seen more than a million people sign up for alerts since the system was launched on October 25.
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