COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Starting Sunday, Colorado residents will be able to opt in to receive coronavirus exposure notifications on their smartphones.
The new technology was announced last month. It alerts Coloradans who have been in proximity to someone with COVID-19 long enough to risk an infection. The technology does not track location, and does not share anyone’s identity with Google, Apple, other users, or the state.
Coloradans will receive notices on their Android and Apple phones Sunday with information about how to opt in to the free tool.
When users enable the service, their smartphones will share anonymous tokens with other users through Bluetooth. If another user tests positive for COVID-19 within a 14-day period and chooses to upload their results, users at risk of infection will receive an alert of potential exposure.
Tokens are not associated with any phone number, name, location or IP address, and they change every 15 minutes to add an extra layer of anonymity.
“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,” Gov. Jared Polis said in a statement. “Enable CO Exposure Notifications on your iPhone or Android to help save lives. The CO Exposure Notification tool is an important new feature for Coloradans to make smart and informed health decisions for themselves, their loved ones and our small businesses. By alerting users to potential COVID-19 exposure, Coloradans can take quick steps in order to limit exposure and risk to family, friends, coworkers and neighbors.”
The system also provides people who receive an exposure alert with instructions on recommended next steps, including information on quarantine and contacting their local public health agency.
According to the state, in models developed by Oxford University, researchers have estimated that even if only 15% of the population enables exposure notifications, regions could see a reduction in infections of 8% and deaths by 6%.
Visit addyourphone.com for more information about the program.