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What is Contact Tracing and How Will it Work?

by | Jun 10, 2020 | Articles, Hardware Support, IT Support, Tips and Advice

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone is trying to do their part in reducing the spread of the virus. Whether it’s by quarantining, social distancing, wearing protective gear in public, or working on the front lines to treat the waves of sick people, your efforts matter. 

Technology is now being utilized in many ways to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, and Apple and Google just announced their new efforts with a program called Contact Tracing. 

The Goal of Contact Tracing

Contact Tracing will be used to help people know if they have been in contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19. The update will allow users to keep track of the people they’ve been around, and anyone who tests positive for the virus can anonymously notify the people they’ve been around by updating their information in the Health app. The goal is to keep people aware of their contact with the virus so they can make informed decisions about being tested and receiving medical care. 

How it Works

Using the Exposure Logging feature on your updated OS, your phone will work in sync with the CDC app to identify users who have tested positive. Your phone will send out Bluetooth identifiers, which appear as a random string of numbers and don’t share your identity, to the phones around you. These numbers change every 20 minutes for added security. If you test positive for COVID-19, you can update your CDC app with this information, and it will notify everyone you’ve been around in the past 14 days with your consent. This notification will not reveal your identity to anyone, but it will give everyone a warning and even a way to identify their symptoms if they get sick. If you’re notified of a recent exposure to the virus, your phone will give you information about what to do next. This tool could potentially save the lives of at-risk people who would otherwise have no way of knowing they were exposed to the virus, and it’s a great way to keep those around you informed of your condition without breaking your anonymity. 

How to Set Up Contact Tracing on Your Phone

If you want to set up contact tracing on your phone, make sure your Bluetooth is on and your OS is updated. Then you can opt in and turn on notifications. For Android, the program will be called “COVID-19 Exposure Notifications”, and it’ll be “COVID-19 Exposure Logging” for iPhones. Next, install the CDC app from your local health authority. This way you’ll be able to anonymously let people know if you test positive. Opt into exposure notifications after installing the app, 

Tech Support and Computer Repairs with ComputerCPR

If you have any questions or concerns about enabling contact tracing on your device, our talented computer repair technicians at ComputerCPR are always happy to help. With our remote tech support, you can get help with your devices without leaving the safety of your own home. For more information about our services, call or visit our website today!