State of Washington: Inslee announces statewide COVID-19 exposure notification tool

State of Washington: Inslee announces statewide COVID-19 exposure notification tool. “Gov. Jay Inslee, along with the Washington State Department of Health (DOH), today announced the launch of WA Notify, a simple, anonymous exposure notification tool to help stop the spread of COVID-19. By adding WA Notify to their smartphones, Washington residents will be alerted if they spent time near another WA Notify user who later tests positive for COVID-19. ”

MIT Technology Review: While mainland America struggles with covid apps, tiny Guam has made them work

MIT Technology Review: While mainland America struggles with covid apps, tiny Guam has made them work. “With no budget, and relying almost entirely on a grassroots volunteer effort, Guam has gotten 29% of the island’s adult residents to download its exposure notification app, a rate of adoption that outstrips states with far more resources.”

Politico: CDC urges overwhelmed contact tracers to prioritize efforts as cases soar

Politico: CDC urges overwhelmed contact tracers to prioritize efforts as cases soar. “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is advising overwhelmed local health officials to triage their coronavirus contact tracing efforts, writing that the latest infection surge is making it difficult to reach every close contact of Covid-positive patients in time to help contain the disease’s spread.”

Chicago Tribune: Contact tracing in Illinois may not slow the coronavirus much. But the data is helping guide state decisions.

Chicago Tribune: Contact tracing in Illinois may not slow the coronavirus much. But the data is helping guide state decisions.. “Contact tracing for COVID-19 has gotten off to a slow start in Illinois, with the state still short of its initial goal of 3,800 people doing that work. And now, with infections soaring, caseloads are overwhelming tracers’ ability to slow the spread of the virus by tracking down contacts and getting them to quarantine. But the information gleaned by Schneider and other contact tracers is proving useful in another way: It is feeding a growing database that Gov. J.B. Pritzker has cited as a guide in making decisions about pandemic restrictions.”

StarTribune: Minnesota launches COVID-19 tracking app via mobile devices

StarTribune: Minnesota launches COVID-19 tracking app via mobile devices. “A new Bluetooth-enabled mobile app will give Minnesotans with COVID-19 the ability to anonymously notify close contacts who they might have exposed to the infectious disease. Gov. Tim Walz unveiled COVIDaware MN on Monday and urged Minnesotans to use the app to slow the spread of the pandemic that has caused at least 3,265 deaths and more than 276,500 lab-confirmed infections in the state.”

WHNT: Alabama’s contact tracing app expands capabilities, still very few have downloaded it

WHNT: Alabama’s contact tracing app expands capabilities, still very few have downloaded it. “If you leave Alabama for the holidays and you are one of the few with the free Guidesafe app, you could be notified of a COVID-19 exposure via a collective database that links other contact tracing apps together. Some states have apps like Guidesafe and some do not. Medical professionals say the expanded capabilities of Guidesafe could be a game changer. However, just under 150,000 people have the app compared to more than 5 million people that call Alabama home.”

NBC New York: NYC Unveils Digital Tool to Help New Yorkers Verify Authenticity of Contact Tracers

NBC New York: NYC Unveils Digital Tool to Help New Yorkers Verify Authenticity of Contact Tracers. “Contract tracers are trying to reach more people than ever amid the latest U.S. surge. But how can you tell if the person who calls you is legitimate? New York City now has an answer to that all-important question. New Yorkers contacted by the city’s Test & Trace Corps to track possible COVID-19 exposure can now verify the authenticity of the contact tracer through a brand new digital function of the program, officials announced Friday.”

Washington Post: I’m a contact tracer in North Dakota. The virus is so rampant that we gave up.

Washington Post: I’m a contact tracer in North Dakota. The virus is so rampant that we gave up.. “In recent weeks, North Dakota has had the most new cases per capita in the country. Our hospitalizations have doubled since last month. We have the world’s highest death rate from covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Things got so bad, so fast, that we’ve surrendered one of our key weapons against the pandemic: Test and trace went by the wayside. Even if we had enough staff to call up everyone’s workplace and contacts, there are so many new infections that it wouldn’t be very effective. At this point, the government has given up on following the virus’s path through the state. All we can do is notify people, as quickly as we can, that they are infected.”

Wired: The iOS Covid App Ecosystem Has Become a Privacy Minefield

Wired: The iOS Covid App Ecosystem Has Become a Privacy Minefield. “Late last month Jonathan Albright, director of the Digital Forensics Initiative at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism, released the results of his analysis of 493 Covid-related iOS apps across dozens of countries. His study of those apps, which tackle everything from symptom-tracking to telehealth consultations to contact tracing, catalogs the data permissions each one requests. At WIRED’s request, Albright then broke down the data set further to focus specifically on the 359 apps that handle contact tracing, exposure notification, screening, reporting, workplace monitoring, and Covid information from public health authorities around the globe.”

Coronavirus: London, Ont., team creates tool to measure effectiveness, privacy of COVID-19 apps (Global News)

Global News: Coronavirus: London, Ont., team creates tool to measure effectiveness, privacy of COVID-19 apps. “A duo out of Western University in London, Ont., has created a new tool that they say will help provincial and national policymakers make decisions on which of the ‘near-endless stream’ of contact-tracing apps to utilize.”

ABC 12 News: Michigan takes COVID-19 contract tracing app statewide

ABC 12 News: Michigan takes COVID-19 contract tracing app statewide. “Michigan has a new tool being used in the fight against COVID-19 — and it’s only a tap away. The state launched a mobile device app that tracks potential exposure to the illness and alerts those who may have had contact with someone diagnosed with coronavirus.”

Aspen Times: A half-million Coloradans have already signed up for the state’s new coronavirus-tracking notification tool

Aspen Times: A half-million Coloradans have already signed up for the state’s new coronavirus-tracking notification tool. “The tool, called Exposure Notifications, runs in the background on smartphones to exchange non-personally identifying information with other phones it comes near that also are running the app. If a person later tests positive for coronavirus, they will have the option of sending a notification to all the people who also use the app that the person had potentially exposed.”

Sports Illustrated: ‘I Think There’s a Better Way’: Can—and Should—College Football Change Its Approach to Contact Tracing?

Sports Illustrated: ‘I Think There’s a Better Way’: Can—and Should—College Football Change Its Approach to Contact Tracing?. “In college football, a player who is exposed to COVID-19 can’t ‘test out’ of quarantine, regardless of whether he ever tested positive himself. Some believe that will change soon. But should it?”

Florida International University: DIY contact tracing interview tool could disrupt spread of COVID-19

Florida International University: DIY contact tracing interview tool could disrupt spread of COVID-19. “After testing positive for COVID-19, a person is typically advised to report who they’ve recently been in contact with, so those individuals can be notified of their exposure. Remembering every single person can be very difficult. The team of psychologists, with expertise in memory, cognition and investigative interviewing, have launched the new web-based contact tracing tool — called CogTracer — as a free way for people in the community to help to slow the spread of COVID-19.”