With COVID-19 cases still rising in US cities, the Virginia Department of Health has released a contact tracing app called COVIDWISE. The app runs on the contact tracing tech created by Apple and Google. If you’re in Virginia, you should download the app for extra protection. COVIDWISE is available for free on the App Store and Google Play Store.
How COVIDWISE Works
COVIDWISE won’t track your location with GPS. Instead, it uses Bluetooth to talk to other devices. Once you consent to its Exposure Notification System, your phone will receive alerts from other phones. Engadget says these alerts are “random, anonymous beacons.” Other users also talk to your phone through their beacons.
Julie Grimes also said that COVIDWISE doesn’t track your location or personal information. Grimes is a spokeswoman for the Virginia Department of Health. She added that users could also turn off notifications or delete the app whenever they want.
— Engadget (@engadget) August 5, 2020
How COVIDWISE Tracks Virus Contact
If you have the app and you test positive for COVID-19, you will receive an alert from the state health department. You will get a personal ID number, which they will use to report your case to the app. Then, other users will know about your case.
If the app determines that your beacon has positive COVID-19 cases, you’ll also receive an alert. In the warning, you’ll receive instructions to protect yourself and people in your area.
Can Everyone Use COVIDWISE?
While COVIDWISE is voluntary, Virginia should benefit from as many app users as possible. The app could inform people whether they were in contact with a COVID-19 case.
North Dakota, Alabama, and South Carolina have signed on the COVIDWISE tech, but they still have to release their apps.