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Download the COVID Alert PA app |  Pitwire

Download the COVID Alert PA app | Pitwire

Paint yourself in a long line at the grocery store. The woman standing a little closer to you covers her face to talk to the cashier, and three days later, the woman is diagnosed with COVID-19.

Woman you do not know, so how does the contact tracer identify to test you?

Now, there is an app for it and Pitt is encouraging the university community to download it.

In September, the Pennsylvania Department of Health released COVID WARNING PA, The state’s official mobile app designed to anonymously identify and alert users of other applications exposed to those suffering with COVID-19.

Developed in partnership with the Irish software company Nearform State, the app uses the power of both Apple and Google to use Bluetooth technology to locate and maintain a temporary list of anonymous personal devices near each other (within six). Feet to each other for at least 15 minutes).

So, if a woman in the grocery store reports her positive COVID-19 confirmation in the COVID Alert PA, this app will allow her to alert other users (like you) to exposure to the virus. You do not know that the grocery store lady is behind the warning, and she does not know who will receive the warning; But the faster you all connect to the public health officer, the more instructions they will give.

All you have to do is download the free app Google Play Or Apple’s App Store And “opt-in” to receive COVID-19 exposure alerts, which appear as push notifications and never appear as text messages. (See also FAQ Learn more about the app from the Department of Health website.)

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“As we have seen with this virus, it can spread from one infected person to the whole community,” said Anantha Shekhar, Pit’s senior vice chancellor of health sciences. “We know that fast and accurate contract tracing plays a key role in preventing the infection count from growing too large or too fast.”

If users report their positive test results on the app, the app will only alert public health officials to positive COVID-19 tests, allowing health users to request more information from those users.

The app provides users with up-to-date information about COVID-19 and a “COVID check-in” section where users can log in to their properties, set reminders for logging features, and track their feature history over time.

Although participating in the app is voluntary, Pitt encourages students, faculty and staff to download the app and initiate exposure alerts. With the university’s constant emphasis on physical distance, properly worn face shields, proper hygiene and testing, the COVID Alert PA Tracker is a powerful technology tool that allows public health officials to detect positive COVID-19 cases more quickly than traditional contact tracers. .

But according to Shekhar, there is a stumbling block here. “It would be more effective to help people who use this tool more often, Pittsburgh and our community members at Pitt, contract and carry out COVID – 19 without knowing it.”