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People in Colorado should expect a message on their phone this Sunday from the state about COVID-19 contact tracing

Handout from a COVID-19 Colorado Exposure Notifications meeting.
Handout from a COVID-19 Colorado Exposure Notifications meeting.(CDPHE)
Published: Oct. 23, 2020 at 3:51 PM MDT
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Colorado health officials are utilizing new technology to help with COVID-19 contact tracing, and many people in Colorado can expect a message about the tech on their phone this Sunday.

The statewide COVID-19 exposure notification system is scheduled to launch Oct. 25 in Colorado in partnership with Google and Apple. Many Colorado residents are expected to receive instructions about how to opt-in. The free and voluntary service will alert participants who have been in close proximity to someone with COVID-19 long enough to risk an infection.

“We are currently losing ground nationally and here in Colorado to this deadly virus, but we are just launching a new weapon to defeat it. Enable CO Exposure Notifications on your iPhone or Android to help save lives. The CO Exposure Notification tool is an important new feature for Coloradans to make smart and informed health decisions for themselves, their loved ones and our small businesses,” said Governor Jared Polis. “By alerting users to potential COVID-19 exposure, Coloradans can take quick steps in order to limit exposure and risk to family, friends, coworkers and neighbors.”

Experts estimate that if 15 percent of people choose to opt-in, rates of positive cases will go down eight percent, with deaths down six percent. The system is completely anonymous, and does not share any of your personal information with anyone. As of Thursday, over 500,000 Coloradans have already signed up.

There are a lot of questions about privacy and how the technology works. Click here and scroll down for a list of questions and answers from the state.

Click here for more on how to activate your notifications.

FAST FACTS:

  • iPhone and Android will soon have an Exposure Notification feature to alert you when you may have been exposed to COVID-19.
  • To participate in Exposure Notifications, update your operating system and enable “Exposure Notifications” on iPhone or install the ENexpress COVID-19 app on Android.
  • Exposure Notifications ensure privacy by operating through a secure token system.

HOW IT WORKS:

When users enable the service, their smartphones will share anonymous tokens with other users through the phones' Bluetooth technology. If another user tests positive for COVID-19 within a 14-day period and chooses to upload their results, users at risk of infection will receive an alert of potential exposure. Tokens are not associated with any phone number, name, location or IP address and they change every 15 minutes to add an extra layer of anonymity.

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