July 19, 2021 1:11pm
(WGTD)--- Your iPhone or android device can now alert you when you come in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. The Wisconsin Department of Health has partnered with Apple and Google for the new feature. Many received the notification on their devices in the last few days.
Here’s how it works: When you walk by a device of a phone user who has tested positive, all of the phones pinged in the nearby vicinity can be notified of possible exposure.
The program is “opt-in” meaning only those who agree to sign up are in the system to be alerted. Once in the system, reporting of a positive COVID-19 test is also voluntary. Thus leaving out potentially thousands of interactions and exposures. Apple and Google claim they collect the data anonymously through an encrypted network.
The launch of the service comes as the Delta Variant is on the rise in the U.S. and Wisconsin. Wisconsin is averaging about 200 new COVID-19 cases per day. C.D.C. Director Rochelle Walensky says the rise of the variant has lead to a “pandemic of the unvaccinated.” 51 percent of Wisconsin residents have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, per DHS.