COVID-19 exposure alerts available for California residents via smartphone

COVID-19 exposure alerts
Governor Gavin Newsom announced the statewide launch of CA Notify, a new digital tool that will help reduce the transmission of COVID-19. Starting Thursday, December 10, Californians can opt in to receive COVID-19 notifications informing them if they have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for the virus. COVID-19 exposure alerts
CA Notify is a digital tool that protects privacy and security; it does not collect device location to detect exposure and does not share a user’s identity. The tool was developed in partnership with Google and Apple and piloted with the help of the University California, San Diego and the University of California, San Francisco.


iPhones and iPads

1. Update your iOS to version 13.7 or later COVID-19 exposure alerts
2. Go to Settings
3. Scroll down to Exposure Notifications
4. Turn on Exposure Notifications
5. Select United States > California

If you require technical support, call 1-888-421-9457

Android phones

Download the CA Notify app from the Google Play Store

When individuals voluntarily activate CA Notify, the tool uses Bluetooth technology to exchange random codes between phones without revealing the user’s identity or location. If a CA Notify user tests positive for COVID-19, they will receive a verification code to plug into the app, if they choose. Any other CA Notify users who have been within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more of the COVID-19 positive individual will get an anonymous notification of possible exposure.
CA Notify will accelerate how quickly people get notified of a possible COVID-19 exposure, giving people the information they need to make responsible decisions around quarantine and testing. Users who have tested positive for COVID-19 will get a text from the California Department of Public Health at 855-976-8462 with a code that they can enter into CA Notify triggering an alert to phones of people who may have been exposed in the previous 14 days.
The State launched a pilot in September for students, staff, and faculty at UC San Diego and UC San Francisco and expanded to include five other UC campuses in mid-November. Given the privacy-first focus of CA Notify, it is unknown how many students, faculty, staff, and patients enabled CA Notify, but UC estimates more than 250,000 people are utilizing this technology as part of the pilot. CA Notify has helped identify exposed individuals early, allowing them to quickly quarantine and reduce the transmission of the virus. The performance and privacy of CA Notify has been successfully evaluated through the pilot project, and similar programs have been launched in other states.
CA Notify is completely voluntary and free and is designed to protect your privacy. It does not use device location to detect exposures and does not share anyone’s identity to other users. And individuals can securely report if they test positive, so that others can be notified of exposure without indicating their identity.
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