Virginia releases first Apple and Google-powered COVID-19 app in U.S.
What you need to know
- Virginia has released its COVIDWISE exposure notification app.
- It is the first app powered by Apple and Google's API to be released in the U.S.
- It can notify you if you've been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
Virginia has today become the first U.S. state to release a COVID-19 exposure notification app powered by Apple and Google's contact tracing API.
Available now on both the App Store (opens in new tab) and Google Play Store (opens in new tab), COVIDWISE is the official COVID-19 exposure notification app for the Commonwealth of Virginia's Department of Health.
As per Apple and Google's API, it will use Bluetooth Low Energy to determine when a user has had contact with a person who has tested positive for the virus. You can find out more about exposure notification and how it works in our FAQ guide.
FAQ: What is the Google-Apple COVID-19 (coronavirus) Exposure Notifications system?
Users simply have to download the app and opt-in to the notification system:
BLE technology ensures the app won't drain your phone's battery too much. According to the VDH website, the app will download a list of anonymous tokens on a daily basis, associated with positive COVID-19 cases, checking them against the list of anonymous tokens you have encountered in the past two weeks. If any of them match, it means that someone you've been in contact with has tested positive for COVID-19 in the last two weeks. The app will notify users with further instructions accordingly.
The department notes:
The Department has its own comprehensive set of FAQs covering questions around the app's functionality, use, submitting positive tests, personal information and privacy, and more.
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Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.
Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9