New app will help with contact tracing in New York

Around New York State

FILE – This electron microscope image made available and color-enhanced by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Integrated Research Facility in Fort Detrick, Md., in 2020, shows Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, orange, isolated from a patient. One of COVID-19’s scariest mysteries is why some people are mildly ill or have no symptoms and others rapidly die — and scientists are starting to unravel why. (NIAID/National Institutes of Health via AP)

ALBANY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — On Thursday during a phone conference with the media, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a new app was launching on Thursday to help with contact tracing throughout the state.

The COVID Alert NY app launched on October 1, and Cuomo believes it is the first of its kind. The app is available for iOs and the Android operating system.

Right now, the state has 15,000 people who do contact tracing throughout the state. Now, if a person has downloaded the COVID Alert NY app, they will be notified if they were within six feet of someone who has tested positive for a duration of 10 minutes or more.

But how does it work? After someone from the Department of Health contacts someone who has tested positive, they will offer up a password for the app. The person then types in the password into the app on their phone, and when that phone comes into contact with another phone that has the app downloaded, that person will receive an alert. Participation is voluntary and no data is collected. The app uses bluetooth technology to locate phones with the app.

“It’s a great tool to alert you if you happen to be within six feet of a person who tests positive,” Cuomo said of the app.

The app is ADA compliant and available in the top six languages spoken in New York State.

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