Is COVID exposure trackable? New app tests this theory

Local News

DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — It’s the app that may slow the spread of COVID-19 in the state of Alabama; it’s called GuideSafe.

It’s an exposure notification app that notifies those who have the app if they have been in close contact with someone who has been exposed to COVID-19.

The University of Alabama was the first platform the app was tested on. Health officials believe this is a great thing and will allow residents to monitor their daily status.

“It will ping you every day for a quick questionnaire of how you’re feeling and are you reporting any symptoms so it will probably make you more aware and remind you that this virus is something in the community that we need to be very serious about it,” said Dr. Hejal Patel, radiation oncologist.

The app is Apple/Android-user friendly, anonymous and completely free.

Prior to signing up, it asks if you have experienced any symptoms and if you’ve been exposed or not.

“At that point these phones are generating random numbers that are being sent around so your information as far as your personal information is protected,” Patel said.

Patel adds that people still need to follow CDC guidelines of social distancing, wearing masks and staying away from large gatherings.

While the app seems like a good way to monitor exposure and slow the spread, one resident has doubts it works.

“I think everything’s overrated,” Bobby Truitt said. “It’s political. I mean they’re just pushing it way out of proportion. I mean, I’m not saying it’s not dangerous, but how can they, how can an app tell you you’re exposed, that makes no sense to me.”

Users must ensure that their Bluetooth feature is turned on in order for the app to fully function.

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