The state of Colorado has recently introduced its newest COVID-19 exposure warning system 'CO Exposure Notifications' in its efforts to prevent the transmission of the virus. Through this technology, Coloradans shall receive a note with opt-in instructions on their cellphones.
COVID-19 Exposure Notifications: How does it work?
The device warns its users if they are close to someone who tested positive for the coronavirus causing COVID-19. This is a part of the state's efforts to control the spread of the novel coronavirus as cases have increased in recent months.
"We are currently losing ground nationally and here in Colorado to this deadly virus, but we are just launching a new weapon to defeat it," Colorado Gov. Jared Polis in a news release announced. He added that Coloradans should take strict measures to reduce exposure to Covid-19 and endanger families, colleagues, co-workers, and neighbors by alerting users to possible exposure.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Climate announced CO Exposure Notifications is a free and voluntary program available for Android and Apple iPhone users.
If two persons on their smartphones have triggered the exposure alerts, their phones shall record close contact for 14 days. In addition, during the two weeks, the software will alert someone who has been exposed to an infected person long enough time to be at risk of infection. The warning provides advice on the suggested next steps, including quarantine information and calling the local public health department.
CO Exposure Notifications Focused On Job Engagement
People have to opt-in and make sure their Bluetooth is enabled on their devices for the service to capture potential exposure . According to the CO Exposure Notifications page, residents who tested positive must send their reports to the system; addyourphone.com.
"Researchers also calculated that if just 15 percent of the population permits exposure alerts, regions could see an 8% decrease in infections and deaths by 6%", CDPHE added.
Authorities advised that CO Exposure Notifications can help save lives. "(It) is an important new feature for Coloradans to make smart and informed health decisions for themselves, their loved ones, and our small businesses."
CDPHE emphasizes that the app based on exposure notification models developed by Oxford University would not violate privacy policies. For starters to gauge proximity, the service relies on Bluetooth technology and not GPS monitoring. It does not monitor the positions of participants. It does not compile, contact, or archive any personal data.
To transmit notifications, the service uses anonymous tokens via Bluetooth. Any phone number, name, place, or IP address is not affiliated with the tokens. According to CDPHE, they change the tokens every 15 minutes to add a layer of secrecy.
Sarah Tuneberg, CO Exposure Notifications service lead emphasizes that extensive steps have been taken to ensure that sensitive information is not obtained, processed or shared by using CO Exposure Notifications