Free COVID-19 Exposure Notification App Released by the State

November 23, 2020

Cities are encouraged to tell their residents about the COVIDaware MN app, which aims to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

As the State of Minnesota continues to take measures to slow the spread of COVID-19, residents now have the option to use a smartphone exposure notification app.

The COVIDaware MN app seeks to slow the spread of COVID-19 by notifying more Minnesotans — more rapidly — of possible exposures to COVID-19, so they can take action to protect their communities.

Minnesota is the 17th state to formally launch an exposure notification app, which has proven effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19 in other states. Cities are encouraged to let their resident know about the app.

How it works

When you choose to use the completely voluntary COVIDaware MN app, it will anonymously notify you when you have been exposed to COVID-19. If you opt in to the notification system, the app creates anonymous keys unique to your phone that change every 10 to 20 minutes.

The app — without collecting, sharing, or using any identifiable information or location data — uses Bluetooth Low Energy technology to exchange privacy-protected keys between you and other users that you come into contact with. The app then cross-references the keys exchanged with your device with a list of the anonymous keys that reported a positive COVID-19 test.

If there is a match, the app notifies you of the possible exposure and provides instructions from the Minnesota Department of Health about what you should do to keep yourself and people around you safe.

Privacy and availability

The app is opt-in only, and you must explicitly choose to download the app and turn on notifications, which you can also turn off at any time. The system does not collect any device location data or user identity information. Users make the decision to anonymously report a positive diagnosis to the app.

The app uses technology developed by Google and Apple, and those companies will disable the exposure notification system on a regional basis when it is no longer needed. The free app is available for download from the iPhone App Store and the Android Google Play Store.

Learn more about the app and how to use it

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