The coronavirus continues to spike across the nation, leaving healthcare experts to come up with ways to fight the battle. According to CNN, officials are turning to cell phones.
Apple and Google phones have launched a system that can send out alerts to users in some states who have come in close contact with someone who has tested positive for the coronavirus.
State health departments have created apps through the use of Bluetooth technology, which is able to detect if someone has come in close proximity to someone who has tested positive for the virus through the use of cell phones.
Technology and health officials say no, it is not a shoo-in to completely fight the virus; they believe it is a step in the right direction. The system will let you know after you’ve been exposed to the virus and to lessen the chances of infecting others, CNN reports. They believe it will be helpful when it comes to interactions between strangers, like on buses, trains, or other public places.
Since the launch, millions have signed up to participate. Android users can join in by turning on their Bluetooth and downloading their state’s COVID-19 notification app. iPhone users have a system that is already backed up in their settings, but they still have to turn on their exposure notifications in settings.
Someone who tests positive is given a PIN from their health department; from there, they enter it into their phone, which then pings other phones that they were within six feet or less for 15 minutes or more within the past two weeks.
The participating states are Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, Minnesota, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Wyoming, and the nation’s capital, Washington, DC.