New COVID-19 Contract Tracing Efforts Will Send Notifications For Possible Exposures

Feb 16, 2021

Credit Intermountain Healthcare

Utahns can soon get notifications alerting them of possible COVID-19 exposures. Utah will be using the Google/Apple Exposure Notification Express starting Wednesday.

Over the next week Utah residents can expect three alerts encouraging them to opt into a notification system for possible COVID-19 exposures. 

The system - which doesn’t track GPS location through phones - uses anonymous “tokens” exchanged through proximity. It logs encrypted interactions for 14 days. It logs encrypted interactions for 14 days.

If someone tests positive for COVID-19, they will get a verification code from the Utah Department of Health. They can enter that code in the notification system, which will then send alerts to others who came in close contact. 

Anyone with possible exposure is asked to watch for symptoms and get tested. 

Navina Forsythe is the director of the Center for Health Data Information with the department of health. In a press release she said the success of the new system relies on the amount of people who use the service. She also said the more people who participate can lead to more reductions in the disease.