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COVID Alert PA Reminder

A digital rendering of the Coronavirus pathogen. Photo by pexels user CDC. Used Courtesy of Pexels.com.On Tuesday, September 25, the Governor announced the availability of the COVID Alert PA app. COVID Alert PA is a free, voluntary mobile app developed by the Pennsylvania Department of Health in partnership with NearForm, UPenn, and MIT Lincoln Laboratory using the Apple and Google Exposure Notification System. The app’s features include an interactive COVID-19 symptom checker, opt-in for alerts for potential exposures to the virus, updates on the latest public health data about COVID-19 in PA, and advice for what to do if you have a potential exposure to COVID-19.

All Pennsylvanians are encouraged to download the app on a personal mobile device to help in the fight against COVID-19. The app can be found in the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store by searching for “covid alert pa.”

The app is designed with privacy at the forefront. The app does not use GPS, location services, or any  movement or geographical information. It will never collect, transmit, or store personal information. In other words, it is completely anonymous. 

Here’s how it works:

  • The app uses anonymous Bluetooth low energy proximity technology to know when your phone is within 6 feet of another phone with the app for 15 minutes or more.
  • When an app user confirms a positive COVID-19 test result in the app, it will check to see if it matches any of the anonymous Bluetooth close contact interactions your phone has had over the last 14 days.
  • If there is a match, COVID Alert PA may send an alert after taking into account the date, duration of exposure, and the Bluetooth signal strength (which is used to estimate how close your phone was to the phone of the person having a positive test result).

"Our success in overcoming the virus depends on all of us and our collective behaviors, including wearing a mask, social distancing, proper hygiene, and staying home if you feel sick. The COVID Alert PA app is an additional powerful tool that can be used on a voluntary basis to help keep yourself and those you care about safe."

For more information on the COVID Alert Pennsylvania app: https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/coronavirus/Pages/COVID-Alert-FAQs.aspx.