Coronavirus is spreading around the whole world very quickly. Several health protocols are being mandated just to make sure that the risks of exposure and spread are kept at a minimum. If only there is a way to know if you were, in any way, exposed to someone who might be a carrier.
Now, there is.
The COVID Alert app developed by Apple and Google is a free virus tracker app that is available for download on any mobile phone across the United States. But what is it and how does it work?
How the App Works
As an individual goes through his daily routine, the app, if properly downloaded and configured, can sense if another mobile device with the same app is within the 6-foot radius. When this happens, the two phones exchange a secure random code. Those who are passing by or more than 6 feet away will not be detected by the app.
If the apps from those two mobile phones sense that they are both within 6 feet of each other for over 10 minutes, the random code they exchanged a few minutes earlier will be recorded as a “close contact”.
What does the mobile phone app do?
Contact Tracing and Alert Service:
If you ever test positive for Coronavirus, and you have enabled exposure notifications, an authorized officer from the New York State health department will ask if you want to be sent a 6-digit code via call or SMS. Once you receive it, it is up to you if you want to use the code or not. If you enter the code into your app, it will start the process of sending exposure alerts to the codes in your “close contact” list.
Each day, the codes of confirmed cases will be sent out to all mobile phones that have the COVID Alert app. Each phone app that receives it compares the list to its own list of close contacts. If there is a match, the owner will receive a COVID notification or alert.
By entering the code sent to you into the app, it shares your close contacts list and sends alerts to anyone you came in close contact with. The list-sharing and notifications are secure and private. No one will know who shared the list and where the alert is coming from.
My Health Log (optional feature):
This optional feature in the COVID Alert app checks on your daily and gives basic advice based on your responses.
Another service that combines the ground-location technology is mobile treating sites. These coronavirus mobile testing clinics are being run by innovative healthcare companies that seek to bring healthcare to the patient than the other way around. This combination of tech with wheels could become an effective tool to contain the pandemic.
A mobile testing clinic is a mobile van comes to your neighborhood or business. The mobile van is fully staffed to do more than just coronavirus testing. It is a medical office or pop-up clinic on wheels.
The Mobile coronavirus Apps available online store the history of your daily logs so you can review it when you need to. Those are also anonymously sent to the New York State Department of Health, which uses the data to track the spread of COVID-19 among New York residents.
The first thing the Health Log does is ask basic demographic questions, like your gender, age, and race or ethnicity. It is important to note that every question is optional.
After that part, the app will show 11 COVID-19 symptoms and ask you which of those are you currently experiencing. If you choose one or more from the list, the app will advise you on what you can do. It will also provide you with the COVID Alert NY hotline number and a link to a COVID-19 testing site near you.
New Yorkers can help stop or at least slow down the spread of COVID-19. Using the COVID Alert NY app is one way to contribute.
Pop-up clinics for COVID tests are mobile testing sites on wheels that are helping curtail the spread. These pop-up mobile testing clinics are providing communities with quick access to testing locally.
Most phone Apps that track coronavirus infections are free and voluntary. None of your private information will be shared with anyone. If a person gets an exposure alert, it would be easier to determine if he should get tested. This way, the possible risk of infecting others can be reduced.
The phone app will be more effective if everyone has it on their mobile phones. And if we are able to stop the virus in its tracks by alerting others to get tested, we may finally succeed in managing Coronavirus.
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