Colorado set to launch COVID-19 exposure notification app

After an almost month-long delay, Coloradans soon will be able to receive alerts on their phones that will tell them if they have been close to a person who has tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

On Sunday, Apple and Android users will receive a push notification on their phones that will allow them to opt in to the new exposure notification service.

“This is a game-changer for us in Colorado,” said Sarah Tuneberg, a COVID-19 adviser to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

The app initially was expected to launch last month, but was delayed because the state wanted to make sure there was a “seamless experience” for everyone, she said during a media briefing.

The app exchanges “tokens” via Bluetooth with nearby phones that also have the program running when people are within six feet of each other for at least 10 minutes. If a person tests positive for COVID-19, they will be able to upload the results to the app, which will then notify others about possible exposure. 

The “tokens” do not contain personal information or location data, and won’t tell others who tested positive for COVID-19, according to the health department.

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