Queen Mary University of London: New tool reveals security and privacy issues with contact tracing apps

Queen Mary University of London: New tool reveals security and privacy issues with contact tracing apps. “COVIDGuardian, the first automated security and privacy assessment tool, tests contact tracing apps for potential threats such as malware, embedded trackers and private information leakage. Using the COVIDGuardian tool, cybersecurity experts assessed 40 Covid-19 contact tracing apps that have been employed worldwide for potential privacy and security threats.”

Seattle PI: Over 1.5 million Washington residents activate coronavirus exposure notification tool

Seattle PI: Over 1.5 million Washington residents activate coronavirus exposure notification tool. “More than 1.5 million people across Washington have activated the tool on their phones that helps notify people if they have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for the coronavirus. The tool, WA Notify, was launched in Washington less than a month ago and now, more than 25% of adults across the state are using it.”

Los Angeles Times: They know the sick. On Navajo Nation, contact tracers work to control coronavirus on vast lands

Los Angeles Times: They know the sick. On Navajo Nation, contact tracers work to control coronavirus on vast lands. “More than a third of COVID-19 deaths in New Mexico are among Native Americans, who make up 11% of the state’s population. To date, 17,700 Navajo, out of nearly 175,000 who live on the reservation, have contracted the virus and nearly 700 on the reservation have died from complications. Navajo Nation government officials have said in recent days that intensive care unit beds are at 100% capacity.”

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. ”

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.”