Tech

More states offer Covid-19 contact tracking apps, but adoption is uneven

Apple Inc. and Google’s Covid-19 contact tracing apps are coming to more states, with evidence that they can help delay infections as long as enough people are using them.

Fourteen states and Washington, DC recently adopted “exposure notification” technology that companies have incorporated into their smartphone operating systems. This is Big Tech’s most important contribution to the fight against Covid-19. California and other states are piloting the technology and may be released shortly. This allows a person who tests positive for Covid-19 to warn others with whom they have had close contact before that they need to take precautions or be tested.

With the explosive growth in cases and the nationwide rollout of vaccines months ahead, epidemiologists say that this technique slows the spread of the virus if it is widely used and rapid testing is widely available. It says it will be useful. Still, many of the millions of Americans accessible so far are skeptical, suspicious, or simply unaware of it.

It was a struggle in Virginia and became the first state to deploy an exposure notification app in early August. Three months later, the number of downloads for the app, known as Covidwise, reached about one-tenth of Virginia’s population of about 8.5 million.

Jeff Stover, executive adviser to the Virginia Health Commission for Covidwise, said the politicization of the virus has hampered efforts to increase app adoption. “It doesn’t help persuade Virginians to download and run a government-run exposure notification app,” he said.

More states offer Covid-19 contact tracking apps, but adoption is uneven

Source link More states offer Covid-19 contact tracking apps, but adoption is uneven

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