Governor Tom Wolf is inviting all Pennsylvanians to download and then share the free COVID Alert PA app with friends, family, and coworkers in the commonwealth. Since the app launched on Tuesday, there have been more than 70,000 downloads. The COVID Alert PA app notifies users if they may have been exposed to COVID-19 without revealing their identity or location.
“Thanks to the tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians who have already downloaded the free app,” Gov. Wolf said. “Now, I ask that you share the app with all those you know because the more people who download it, the more effective it will be in helping us unite against COVID. Please download the app and then encourage those you know to do the same and use their phones in the fight.”
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.
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 COVID Alert PA 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).
Find more information on the COVID Alert Pennsylvania app here.