The Exposure Notification API developed by Apple and Google is slowly being adopted by public health agencies around the world. And now North Dakota, Wyoming, and Alabama have just announced that they’re launching new apps with Exposure Notifications to alert users and reduce the spread of COVID-19.
North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum pointed out that the state was the first in the US to offer a contact tracing app and that they’re also the first state to operate with the National Key Server.
“Care19 Alert is a powerful tool in the fight against COVID-19 and another example of how we’re embracing technology and innovation to save lives and livelihoods. North Dakota was the first state to launch a contact tracing app, and now we’re the first state to connect an exposure notification system with the National Key Server, which will allow Care19 Alert to work with similar apps in other states. This makes Care19 Alert a vital resource in keeping schools and businesses open while protecting personal privacy.”
North Dakota’s Care19 app is now available on the App Store for iOS users and also on the Play Store for Android users. According to Reuters, Wyoming’s contact tracing app will be available this Friday, while Alabama’s app is expected to be available on Monday.
The Exposure Notification API uses Bluetooth technology to exchange random identifiers with nearby phones. Users are notified if they have been near someone who tested positive for COVID-19. This process requires an app from public health agencies installed on iPhone or Android device.
If someone tests positive for COVID-19, they can voluntarily report the positive test to the Exposure Notification application for their region. The process is completely anonymous and voluntary.
The COVID-19 Exposure Notification API was recently adopted by Canada and Brazil, while the United States is taking a state-by-state approach to launch COVID-19 contact tracing apps — with Virginia being the first state in the U.S. to launch an app with the official COVID-19 tracing API.
Read more on how Apple and Google’s Exposure Notification API works here on 9to5Mac.