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The state of California creates a contact tracing app

15 minutes. California, which with its almost 40 million inhabitants is the most populous state in the US, presented its own contact tracing application for COVID-19 on Monday, based on a technology jointly developed by Google and Apple that uses Bluetooth.

In March and April, governments and technology companies around the world promoted these applications as a key support against the coronavirus. However, California took nine months to present his own and this is not expected to significantly change the current pandemic situation.

Its download and use is voluntary, as is the decision to share the information in case of testing positive for COVID-19.

“It is a private, anonymous and secure process. It is one of the many tools that the state has in its data-driven strategy to help mitigate the spread of the virus,” the Governor of California said in a statement when presenting the application. Democrat Gavin Newsom.

How does it work?

On May 20, Apple and Google (the two manufacturers that dominate the world market for mobile phone operating systems) launched a jointly developed and compatible application programming interface (API) for Android and iOS.

The idea was that governments and health authorities worldwide use that API as a basis for developing their own applications, what California did.

In the Californian case, once users download CA Notify as of Thursday, when it will be available, they must activate the phone’s Bluetooth. This will register the devices of other users who are less than 1.8 meters away.

If a person tests positive for SARS-CoV-2 and enters this information in the app, the users who have been in contact with them in the last fourteen days they will receive a notice on their phone, without this data or people’s identities being centralized in any database or being accessible to third parties – the process is completely anonymous.

COVID-19 in California

Some 33 million residents in different regions of California were forced to stay at home in strict confinement on Monday as the number of hospitalizations for COVID-19 in that state increased.

The restrictions, the most severe since the first wave in March and April, entail the closure of hairdressers, beauty salons, playgrounds, bars, wineries, cinemas, museums and zoos. They also closed the restaurants, which will only be able to continue serving take-out food and making home deliveries.

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