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California unveils smartphone tool to trace virus cases

Posted at 10:00 AM, Dec 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-07 15:54:28-05

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- California is rolling out a voluntary smartphone tool to alert people if they spent time near someone who tests positive for the coronavirus as cases and hospitalizations soar throughout the state.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the tool on Monday and said people can opt in to use it starting on Thursday.

Officials say the CA Notify tool doesn't track people's identities or locations but uses Bluetooth wireless signals to detect when two phones are within 6 feet of each other for at least 15 minutes.

Visit canotify.ca.gov for information on how CA Notify works, including how to download and install on your mobile device.

Sixteen other states plus Guam and Washington, D.C. have made available the system co-created by Apple and Google. Most residents of those places aren’t using it.