Virginia first state to try pandemic app from Apple, Google

Virginia is the first state to begin to use a smartphone app to automatically notify people if they might have been exposed to the coronavirus.

The new pandemic technology was created by Apple and Google and relies on Bluetooth wireless technology to detect when someone who downloaded the app has spent time near another app user who later tests positive for the virus.

Those who download Virginia’s app get a message that it is “100% voluntary” and doesn’t use location-tracking technology such as GPS or collect personal information that can be used to identify someone.

“Your device will share anonymous tokens via Bluetooth with other COVIDWISE users,” the app says. “If another user you’ve been nearby tests positive for COVID-19 within a 14-day period, your app will notify you.”

Those who test positive can anonymously notify others to help stop the disease’s spread.

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