North Dakota, Wyoming, and Alabama are all launching contact tracing apps that take advantage of Apple and Google’s Exposure Notification API to cut down on the spread of the coronavirus, reports Reuters.
North Dakota’s app, Care19 Alert, is launching today, while Wyoming plans to launch an app on Friday. Alabama’s app, which has been in testing with university students and staff, will market its app statewide starting on Monday.
Virginia earlier in August became the first U.S. state to debut an app that uses the Exposure Notification API when it launched COVIDWISE. Virginia state department health official Jeff Stover told Reuters that 316,000 people have downloaded the app so far.
Washington and Pennsylvania are two other states that are expected to launch contact tracing apps that use the Exposure Notification API in the coming weeks. Right now, many of these apps are not designed to work across state lines, with North Dakota’s app being the first in the U.S. to support the functionality.
The apps are designed to limit the spread of the coronavirus by using Bluetooth to track who people come into contact with. The idea is that when a person comes down with COVID-19, an alert can be sent out to everyone they were around so those people can quarantine and watch out for symptoms.
Multiple countries, including Switzerland, Latvia, Italy, Germany, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Ireland, Croatia, Denmark, and Canada have also launched apps that use the Exposure Notification API.
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