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California's Notify App expands statewide

Alert system first launched at UCSD in September
Posted at 4:35 PM, Dec 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-07 20:11:06-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) People across California will soon be able to use an app to notify or find out if they have been exposed to COVID-19.

The CA Notify system was launched on the campus of UC San Diego in September. Monday, Governor Gavin Newsom announced the tool would be available on Google and Apple devices statewide beginning on December 10th.

Dr. Christopher Longhurst, Chief Information Officer for UC San Diego Health, says the tool helps stop the spread of the virus on campus.

"While San Diego case rates have surged from 3 to 6 percent, our campus has fortunately remained a safer place with our students and employees testing positive at less than 1 percent," said Dr. Longhurst.

Philip Tajanko is a freshman at UCSD. He signed up for the app shortly after arriving on campus in September.

"I figured that I might as well download the app just in case," said Tajanko.

Tajanko tested positive for the virus in October.

"Outside of the people I directly informed by giving them a phone call or text, it did give me some peace of mind knowing that I could just send out this blanket alert that would notify anyone that I had been in contact with but don't have their phone number," said Tajanko.

The system uses smartphone technology when a users' phone is within close proximity to another user for an extended period.

"You're not going to get an exposure unless your phone is within 6 feet of someone else's device for greater than 15 minutes cumulatively," said Dr. Longhurst.

The governor stressed the app is opt-in, 100% private, secure, and does not track location.

It has been effective. Even if we don't have tens of millions of people participating in this program, the more people who opt-in, the more effective it can be," said Governor Newsom.