Stopping the spread: CA Notify

June 4, 2021 /

As people continue to get vaccinated against COVID-19, residents still need to take precautions to protect themselves from contracting the virus.

Now people can use their phones to help slow the spread with an app called CA Notify. The app was launched in December 2020 in order for Californians to do their part to stop the surge of COVID-19 cases.

CA Notify is a free and secure digital tool that can anonymously alert users if they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. This system, when combined with other mitigating efforts like physical distancing and wearing masks, can help slow the spread of the virus.

CA Notify is available through the Google Play Store for Android devices and as a setting on Apple products. By going into settings on an iOS device, users can scroll down to exposure notifications and opt to turn them on and select their country and state. Once activated, CA Notify does all the work. All you do is keep your Bluetooth on. You will only receive alerts if you were in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19.

Imagine that two people have Exposure Notifications turned on. If they come within six feet of each other for 15 minutes or more within a day, their phones will exchange keys (randomly generated, anonymous numbers) that log that close interaction.

If one person later tests positive for COVID-19 and agrees to share that information with CA Notify, then the other person will receive an alert that they have been exposed. This notification will include instructions on who to contact and what to do next.

canotify.ca.gov

CA Notify is an added layer of protection for California residents and their communities, but it does not collect or exchange any personal information, as defined in the California Information Practices Act, of the user to receive notifications. Users may turn the system on or off at any time, or uninstall the app on an Android device. The system does not collect, track or store users’ location, GPS information, or personal information.

The more people who enable CA Notify on their phones, the more effective the tool will be in protecting public health and allowing our society to get back to normal.