An app for Colorado that amounts to an electronic means of contact tracing did not launch by the end of September as originally anticipated.
The Denver Post reports that Google and Apple are still working with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment on the Exposure Notifications Express app, which uses Bluetooth to scan and notify any cell phones that came within six feet of an infected person for an extended period of their potential exposure after the fact.
According to Apple, a public health authority sends a verification code to a user’s iPhone if they received a positive COVID-19 test result. After the person enters the code, their phone transmits exposure data to a server, which stores it in order to alert other phones during routine checks.
TechCrunch reports that health authorities will have to opt in to the notification system, but that a single app makes it possible for each entity to avoid creating its own separate program.
“The Exposure Notifications System does not collect or use the location from your device,” explained Google on its website. “The system does not share your identity with other users, Apple, or Google.”
The app discloses far less information than South Korea has employed in its own electronic contact tracing. The country of 51.6 million people, which has been far more successful in containing COVID-19 than the United States, sent out alerts that included the infected person’s age, gender and a detailed time log of their movements.