"As we see a unsafe surge in cases across the state, we need to use every tool possible to cut off the spread of the virus", said Gov. Walz.
Do you know if you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19?
"This could be such an incredibly powerful tool that could help businesses and that could allow us to return to so many of these activities that we miss and that we love".
"The app itself does not track your location or use Global Positioning System in any way, it doesn't transfer any information to the state or to anyone else related to location", Tomes said.
COVIDaware MN uses Bluetooth Low Energy technology to notify users if they have been exposed to COVID-19, so they can reduce the risk of infection for those they come into contact with. One in every 120 people in Minnesota tested positive in the past week. Generally, close contact is considered spending a total of 15 minutes in one day within about 6 feet of anyone who has COVID-19.
COVIDaware MN will exchange random keys with anyone who downloads COVIDaware MN or similar applications developed by other states that use the same technology framework. If there's a match, the app will notify you with further instructions from the Minnesota Department of Health about what you need to do to keep you and the people around you safe. "It does not use your identity or share your identity with others, including with Google or with Apple or with the state of Minnesota". This can be done through the iPhone App Store or the Android Google Play Store. More states are expected to adopt this technology as part of their COVID-19 response efforts.
Tarek Tomes, who serves as the Commissioner of Minnesota IT Services (MNIT) told reporters that COVIDaware MN does not collect nor distribute personal identification. "The more individuals that download the app, the better we can inform our community about potential exposures".
-Information provided by the Office of Tim Walz. PathCheck's digital pandemic response software is being used by multiple states, territories, and countries.