COVID-19 Exposure Notification Mobile App Now Available in Minnesota
Governor Tim Walz today announced the availability of a new COVID-19 exposure notification mobile application, COVIDaware MN.
The voluntary, anonymous application will alert a user if another user with whom they have had close contact during the virus’ infectious period tests positive for COVID-19.
“As we see a dangerous surge in cases across the state, we need to use every tool possible to cut off the spread of the virus,” said Governor Walz. “COVIDaware MN gives our state a powerful and anonymous new tool to alert others we’ve had close contact with even people we don’t know and slow the spread of COVID-19.”
Minnesota joins more than 20 states and territories using secure, anonymous technology to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
When Minnesotans download the app and allow notifications, COVIDaware MN generates a random, privacy-protecting key for a user’s phone. The app does not track individuals’ locations or their positions relative to one another. Using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology, the user’s phone and the phones of other users they are near anonymously exchange these privacy-protected keys.
If a person receives a positive test, the Department of Health will provide a unique code the person may enter into the app, if they choose.
If they enter the code, users with whom they’ve been within six feet for 15 or more minutes over a 24 hour period in the past 14 days will receive a notification of an exposure. COVIDaware MN will exchange random keys with anyone who downloads COVIDaware MN or similar applications developed by other states that use the same technology framework.