Apple and Google announced plans to build COVID-19 tracing into iPhone and Android operating systems on April 10. The move marked a major partnership between the top two mobile operating system competitors in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19. Platform updates to enable the COVID-19 contact tracing feature on iOS and Android were publicly released 40 days later on May 20.
So how do you participate in COVID-19 contact tracing efforts with your smartphone?
In this story, 9to5Mac is tracking which U.S. states are committed to supporting the Exposure Notifications API in iOS and Android apps, which states are against using the contact tracing method, and which states are undecided.
Each public health authority in each country or region must first agree to adopt Apple and Google’s Exposure Notification API. Next the health authority must create an iOS and Android app for their region dedicated to supporting Exposure Notifications.
In the United States, rather than creating a single contact tracing app, the decision to support Exposure Notifications is made by each state’s public health authority. Alabama, South Carolina, and North Dakota are among the first U.S. states to express interest in Apple and Google’s Exposure Notifications API for assisting COVID-19 contact tracing.
The following information is based on inquiries sent to state governor’s offices and state health departments on May 20, 2020 following the public release of iOS and Android updates to support the Exposure Notification API.
|Which U.S. states are using Apple’s Exposure Notification API?|
|New Hampshire||No Response|
|New Jersey||No Response|
|New Mexico||No Response|
|New York||No Response|
|North Carolina||No Response|
|North Dakota||Will Participate|
|Rhode Island||No Response|
|South Carolina||Will Participate|
|South Dakota||Not Participating*|
|West Virginia||Not Participating*|
|4 of 50 States Participating|
| *South Dakota “We are utilizing an app called Care 19 to assist with our contact tracing efforts. Care 19 requires an opt-in by users to provide us their location data, making it incredibly friendly to privacy concerns.”|
| *West Virginia “No final decision has been made by West Virginia regarding the use of this technology.”|
|*California “We don’t have any updates on apps at this time, but if that changes, we will let you know.”|
|*Colorado “The State is not exploring using “exposure notification API” generated data at this time.”|
|*Washington “We are working in combination with University of Washington for an app that could be of assistance to people to find out if they have been in the proximity of people who are infected. That app could use hardware and software from Apple and Google. This is a very promising technology that we are working with the UW on.”|
|*Maryland “The Maryland Department of Health and local health departments will use the state-of-the-art contact tracing platform called COVID Link, which will assist in collecting information about people who test positive for COVID-19 and any individuals they have come into close contact with. COVID Link is expected to be operational by the end of the month.”|
|*Arizona “We are currently investigating all innovative strategies for conducting contact tracing.”|
|*Pennsylvania “The department is continuing to determine our next steps as far as a contact tracing app.”|
|*Tennessee “At this time the Tennessee Department of Health is not using an app for contact tracing or monitoring, and has not engaged in a vendor contract with any firm to help with contact tracing.”|
|*Wyoming “We have no current plans related to those type of apps.”|
|*Delaware “Delaware does not currently plan to use these technologies.”|
|*Ohio “We have no plans to do so at this time.”|
|*Missouri “We are considering a range of technologies to help with contact tracing, but we have not yet made any decisions.”|
|*Maine “At present, Maine CDC is reviewing the efficacy of the app you mention, as well as other apps that could aid our contact tracing efforts. The app to which you refer could prove helpful as travelers from other states visit Maine during the summer, so we are interested but still in the review process.”|
|*Michigan “We are reviewing many technology tools that have been offered to aid the COVID-19 response to ensure they adhere to our commitment to privacy. Our contact tracing is currently tech enabled through Deloitte, but people based through a multitude of volunteers. We are working with a university on a contact tracing program that will be announced in the near future and are leveraging texting as part of our current contact tracing efforts. To help Michiganders find testing near them, we are also offering an online testing locater powered by Castlight.
This is part of a broader strategy to Contain COVID to help slow the spread of the virus, keep our first responders safe and save lives in Michigan.”
|Latest Update: May 22, 8:06 A.M. CDT|
9to5Mac will update this report with new information as it develops over the next several weeks. This page will also be a resource for participating apps by state when more states come online with Exposure Notification apps.
- Apple releases iOS 13.5 to the public with Exposure Notification API, Face ID enhancements, more
- Apple and Google provide sample code and concepts for COVID-19 exposure notification apps
- iPhone and Android COVID-19 contact-tracing: Public health authority apps only, can be disabled by region, multiple iOS updates required
- Apple updates COVID-19 screening app with new CDC symptoms list and mask cleaning tips
- How to manage COVID-19 exposure notifications on iPhone
- iPhone and Android COVID-19 contact tracing FAQ: What govt. sees, where data is stored, more
- COVID-19: Which Apple Stores have reopened?
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