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App launched in Michigan to alert people exposed to coronavirus

Officials call the app a next step in contract tracing
MI COVID Alert appl
MI COVID Alert appl(source: State of Michigan)
Published: Oct. 15, 2020 at 11:49 AM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and Michigan State University are launching a voluntary smartphone app to notify people who’ve been exposed to someone with the coronavirus.

The release is a step toward potentially taking the technology statewide. MI COVID Alert is available for download and is starting as a pilot in the Lansing area.

“MSU has an opportunity to lead the way for all of Michigan in using this easy-to-use app to avoid a second wave,” said Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon. “While masking and social distancing remain as critical as ever, MI COVID Alert is another way to help the MSU and Ingham County community contain COVID while leading their lives.”

A person testing positive is given a PIN by contact tracers allowing them to share their result anonymously on the app, which uses cellphone location information and Bluetooth technology.

Other app users who were within 6 feet of the infected person for at least 15 minutes are notified. They aren’t told who tested positive.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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