Your Phone Could Stop Covid-19 Surge in New Jersey
It's starting to feel like the spring of 2020 all over again. Don't you think? The temps are moderate (the 50s and 60s...sometimes into the 70s) and there's a growing number of people testing positive with Covid-19. In fact, New Jersey now has 5 straight days of over 1,000 positive tests. Those are numbers we have not seen in months. Last spring, the rise in positives resulted in a rise of deaths shortly after. We could be in for a very difficult holiday. Luckily, medical professionals have learned a lot and you may be an important piece of the puzzle to help combat the surge.
What can you do? How about...download an APP? A friend sent me a message today about COVID Alert NJ. It's an anonymous tracing APP that's been created by the state, public health organizations, and google. A quick search on the Apple app store shows that New York, Pennsylvania, and Deleware have a similar app too. I downloaded it and immediately noticed that 251K people have used the app since it was released a few weeks ago. Today nearly 15K checked in. I answered a few questions about myself like my age range, gender, ethnicity, and the county I live in.
So, how does it work? The technology does a bit of contact tracing based on the GPS location of your phone and those of the folks you have come in contact with. Apparently, it uses Bluetooth technology to identify when you've been in close contact with someone with the virus and alerts you. Of course, you'd then be wise to self-quarantine and monitor your symptoms. If most folks use this, we'd all know a lot sooner that we're potentially infected and can quarantine, stopping the spread quickly.
So, how is it anonymous? The information the state is providing says there is no way for you to be identified. You never give your name, date of birth, address, etc. If you test positive you receive a code that keeps your anonymity. You can find out more info here and the video below explains more.