Californians have a new way to find out if they were exposed to COVID-19 as cases and hospitalizations soar throughout the state. Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday announced a new COVID-19 exposure smartphone tool that’s being rolled out.
CA Notify was tested out at University of California campuses earlier this fall and will be available statewide on Thursday.
Newsom said that in the eight weeks since the tool’s launch, more than 60 positive test verification codes have been issued.
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“This holds a lot of promise,” Newsom said of the new tool. Sixteen other states, plus Guam and Washington, D.C., have already made available the system that was co-created by Apple and Google, though most residents of those places aren’t using it. “This is only as good as people’s adaptation and utilization,” said Newsom of the new tool. How does it work? If you opt-in, you will get an alert if you were in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. CA Notify uses Bluetooth smartphone wireless signals to detect when two phones are within 6 feet of each other for at least 15 minutes, officials said. If someone tests positive for COVID-19 and agrees to share that information with CA Notify, then others who were near that person will receive an alert that they have been exposed. That notification will include instructions on who to contact and what to do next. “CA COVID Notify does not collect or exchange any of your smartphone personal information. It does not track your location. It only logs close interactions with others,” California COVID Notify says on its website. “The anonymous keys are exchanged using Bluetooth and are not linked to your identity or location. The keys