Last week Governor Newsom announced the statewide launch of a smartphone app that notifies users when they have been exposed to other users who have tested positive for COVID-19. The CA Notify App is pre-programed on iPhones and is available to download for Android users on Google Play. CA Notify is a voluntary, opt-in program.
Why should I participate?
Essentially, the more that people participate, the more effective the program will be. CA Notify is an added layer of protection for you and your community. In addition to wearing a face covering, physically distancing, and washing your hands, adding this app to your phone will help to keep you and others safe.
How does it work?
If you have an iPhone, go to your settings, scroll down to “Exposure Notifications” and activate CA Notify. If you have an Android phone, download the app. Keep your bluetooth on and you’ll receive alerts if you were in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19. The Bluetooth technology exchanges random codes between phones without revealing either users’ identity or location. Any user who tests positive for the virus will receive a text from the state Department of Public Health with a verification code to enter into the app. Other users who have been within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more of that person in the last 14 days will receive an anonymous notification of possible exposure.
An example provided by CA Notify
Imagine that two people have Exposure Notifications turned on. If they come within six feet of each other for 15 minutes or more within a day, their phones will exchange keys (randomly generated, anonymous numbers) that log that close interaction.
If one person later tests positive for COVID-19 and agrees to share that information with CA Notify, then the other person will receive an alert that they have been exposed. That notification will include instructions on who to contact and what to do next.
What about confidentiality?
Your privacy is protected as your identity is not known and your location is not tracked. CA Notify does not share your name, contact information, location, movements, or the identity of the people you meet.
How to download
iPhone users can enable CA Notify in their device’s settings
- Update your iOS to version 13.7 or later
- Go into settings
- Scroll down to Exposure Notifications
- Turn on Exposure Notifications
- Select United States> California
Android users can download CA Notify on the Google Play Store here.