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Virginia this week became the first U.S. state to release a COVID-19 exposure notification app using Apple's and Google's jointly developed API, as noted by Kyle Carmitchel on Twitter. The app is available now on the App Store.

virginia-covid-app.jpg

The COVIDWISE app allows you to be notified if someone you have been near later tests positive for COVID-19, so long as that other person confirms their positive test in the app. The system relies on the exchange of anonymous Bluetooth tokens between devices, with no location data or personal information collected or shared.

iPhone users must be running iOS 13.5 or later in order for exposure notification apps using the Apple/Google API to function, and the opt-in feature must be enabled first in the Settings app. Users who have upgraded to iOS 14 should note that exposure notification apps are only functional as of the fourth developer beta.

A growing list of countries have released apps based on the Apple/Google API, most recently including Canada's COVID Alert.



Note: Due to the political or social nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Article Link: Virginia Releases COVID-19 Exposure App Based on Apple and Google API
 
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Bpnoraa

macrumors newbie
Jul 2, 2014
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The fact that it’s been an available tool for over 2 months, and Virginia is the first state to use it is astounding to me. It would seem that states don’t take contact tracing seriously. Maybe I don’t understand the logistics of each state getting their app ready for prime time. Wish most states had this available.
 

swingerofbirch

macrumors 68040
Right now the worst hit part of Virginia is Hampton Roads where unfortunately this will not catch on, as even masks are not being adhered to that well. They've had to dispatch extra enforcers because so many people aren't following the rules. I follow the facebook group for the small town I grew up in in the area, and people are boycotting restaurants that are enforcing the mask rules. The facebook thread on masks ended up turning into a long conspiracy thread that somehow went from masks to a bizarre pizzagate scandal that is supposedly being covered up by the mask rules. Maybe some will use it which would be good.

Personally I don't think people can handle nuance based on observing them. It's either everything but grocery/pharmacy is closed or it's mardis gras parade everyone go crazy. People were pretty good about staying home. They are not good about the masks which they seem to think are a conspiracy. They won't want their government tracking them on their cellphones (I know it's not, but there is no way they won't think that).
 

fishbert

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Aug 20, 2009
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Sadly, it seems to be of limited use outside Virginia.

"As a courtesy to all app users, VDH will verify positive tests and then provide COVIDWISE users a personal identifying number (PIN). You must use that PIN in order to report a positive result to the app."
 
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MrMichaelJames

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Jul 16, 2010
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They won't want their government tracking them on their cellphones (I know it's not, but there is no way they won't think that).

That is what really makes me laugh when folks go on and on about gov't tracking you. You already have a cell phone, with GPS that is already tracked tower to tower. The gov't already knows where you are why would they need to create an app specifically for this, its built in. You basically are PAYING a company to track you.
 

cmaier

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Sadly, it seems to be of limited use outside Virginia.

"As a courtesy to all app users, VDH will verify positive tests and then provide COVIDWISE users a personal identifying number (PIN). You must use that PIN in order to report a positive result to the app."

Yep, though it lets you know if youve been exposed to someone positive from virginia.

There really needs to be a single nationwide app. Though it looks like you can install multiple apps at least.
 

Corsig

macrumors 6502a
Jul 12, 2008
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Would love for NJ to implement this and give us at least the option to use it or not. At this point i dont know why we aren't using any measure to stop the spread
 
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apparatchik

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Mar 6, 2008
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Why the hell would this be state wise? No one in the US crosses State borders?

Its surprising, ineffective and wasteful, to have 50 different apps made with different criteria, etc. instead of a single one by the federal government, I think of city clusters that stretch two or more states, like the Boston-Washington Northeast corridor... its not like people don't commute from NJ to NY, from Delaware to DC, also... domestic air travel... does different apps using the exposure API by Apple/Google communicate between them?

If you really think about it, from a scientific stand point, there should be one global app for this... maybe developed and run by the UN and promoted by national governments... of course, you get politics in the mix and we have what we have now... the US out of the WHO, the Chinese withholding data, some national entities lying and denying the pandemic, etc...
 
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Secondempire

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Oct 27, 2017
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Its surprising, ineffective and wasteful, to have 50 different apps made with different criteria, etc. instead of a single one by the federal government, I think of city clusters that stretch two or more states, like the Boston-Washington Northeast corridor... its not like people don't commute from NJ to NY, from Delaware to DC, also... domestic air travel... does different apps using the exposure API by Apple/Google communicate between them?
There is an update to the API that makes it possible to share data between states and countries:


The ENS API now supports exposure notifications between countries, which Burke says is a feature added based on nations that have already launched apps based on the tech (that includes Canada, as of today, as well as some European nations).
 
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RalfTheDog

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Feb 23, 2010
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Need the country to get onboard, rather than just single states. People travel freely between states right now and the potential for transfer through those traveling is high.
It would be nice if they shared data. Token ID=='blablabla' reported positive on [date]. kind of thing.
 
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threesixty360

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May 2, 2007
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they Should make it mandatory to have the app on your phone when you take a test. Every positive result should be put in the phone by default. The server should ping every user 3 times a day to see if the app is on their phone and working. 3 fails and a fine.

Finally, anyone who uses a bar / restraunt needs to have the app on their phone.

i think all the above would work pretty well and every one feel safer.
 

cmaier

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they Should make it mandatory to have the app on your phone when you take a test.

Finally, anyone who uses a bar / restraunt needs to have the app on their phone.

i think all the above would work pretty well and every one feel safer.

So only people rich enough to own smartphones are allowed to get tested or eat at a restaurant? Smart.
 
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FHoff

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Mar 21, 2020
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Leave it to the government. App crashes when trying to set up “share a positive result”.

I would also venture a guess that the majority of the population will never even be aware this app exists. Much less on how to install and enable notifications or be bothered to do it if they do.
 
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coolfactor

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Jul 29, 2002
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Why the hell would this be state wise? No one in the US crosses State borders?

Yes, that's very puzzling and seems to be an overcomplication.

Canada released their app nationwide, but tracking is only being done province-by-province, so it's not yet working in my province (BC).

I think the issue is tied to the local computer medical systems in use in each area.
 
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manu chao

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Jul 30, 2003
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There is an update to the API that makes it possible to share data between states and countries:


The ENS API now supports exposure notifications between countries, which Burke says is a feature added based on nations that have already launched apps based on the tech (that includes Canada, as of today, as well as some European nations).
How does this get rolled out? Do we get an OS update with this?
 

rictus007

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Oct 12, 2011
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I hope it is used nationwide anytime soon .... including US territories and the republic of California. There might be a chance the state of Virginia can share information with MD, DC, etc .... they are already doing this with CRISP. So an state initiative with a nationwide impact is possible
 
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