Apple and Google Partner On COVID-19 Contact Tracing TechnologySource: Apple

What you need to know

  • Colorado is rolling out a contact tracing app.
  • The app will use Apple and Google's Exposure Notification technology.
  • It will be available to both iOS and Android users by the end of September.

Reported by the Coloradoan, residents in Colorado will soon be able to download a free contact tracing app to help curb the spread of COVID-19. Citizens of the state learned of the new app during a press conference with Governor Jared Polls on Tuesday.

Polls says that the app may assist the state in safely hosting a limited in-person Broncos game and that, in addition to continued social distancing and mask-wearing, the app will help the state return to some sense of "normalcy."

"These are really the ways we can get back to enjoying the things we love," Polis said. "We wouldn't even be in the position to talk about being able to go to a Broncos game or playing fall football if we hadn't been successful in Colorado, more successful than many other states, in wearing masks, social distancing and avoiding large gatherings."

The app will be called EN Express and be available for download for iOS and Android users by the end of September.

Polis predicts the exposure notification app, called EN Express, will be part of that picture. It will be available on smartphones at the end of September as an iOS update for Apple users and an app for Android users. The voluntary, free app won't track or share people's location or personal information, said Sarah Tuneberg, Innovation Response Team Lead for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

According to Polls, the state has been working closely with both Apple and Google to roll out the app to the state's residents.

The notifications will tell people they might've been exposed to COVID-19 and provide detailed instructions on how and where to get tested. Similar technology has been used to positive effect in South Korea, Polis said. Google and Apple are working with Colorado to provide the service for free to both the state and residents.

Sarah Tuneberg, the Innovation Response Team Lead for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, ensured the public that, because the state is using Apple and Google's solution, their personal data will be kept secret.

"There is very, very strong security around those tokens, but even if you got a hold of them, it would look like a list of gobbledy-gook numbers and letters, and you could not actually back into whose phone it came from, whose phone it went to," she said. "It literally is anonymous data."