COVIDawareMN app is what everyone should be using

In late November, Governor Tim Walz released an announcement about the new COVIDaware MN app that notifies an individual they might’ve been infected with COVID-19 based on close contact tracing. This bluetooth-enabled app was created to lessen the spread of COVID-19 around Minnesota that has already had almost 300,000 lab confirmed cases of the virus. The app tracks how long someone has been next to an individual and confirms whether or not that interaction was long enough for exposure. The app recognizes other devices that are six feet within range with the Bluetooth Low Energy technology, but it doesn’t identify the individual or expose an individual to another person.

This technology does introduce concerns around privacy, but the app ensures privacy is kept safe while also helping combat the spread of COVID-19 in Minnesota.”

This technology does introduce concerns around privacy, but the app ensures privacy is kept safe while also helping combat the spread of COVID-19 in Minnesota. According to the COVIDawareMN FAQ page, the app never tracks an individual’s location, no data is ever sent to the MN Department of Health (or Apple and Google) without permission, it never sends personal information through tracking, and never accesses any other information on an individual’s phone. Not only this,but the app is completely anonymous and voluntary. State Infectious Diseases Director Kris Ehresmann is in favor of the app. He explains that this app will be useful right now and will be more effective than the state and local contact tracers who normally have to interview individuals infected and try to find out who they’ve been in contact with. Not only this but according to Governor Tim Walz, the app will also help trace asymptomatic people who might now be aware they have the virus, especially young adults.

So how does this app work? If a user tests positive for COVID-19, they can choose to notify other individuals on the app they may have been in contact with. To do this they must receive a test verification code provided by a private contact investigator and enter it in the app. Once it’s entered, the app notifies any individual who may have been 6 feet or closer to this individual who tested positive at any time. The app also provides an estimate of when the contact may have occurred using the Bluetooth technology. The personal information of the individual who tested positive is never collected, stored or released to other users. Also, there is no worry for false information sent out to users because people who test positive must receive that verification code from the private contact investigator to release anything on the app.

Despite all the good, there is a small concern that comes with the app regarding responsibility of individuals who test positive and whether or not they will notify users that they are COVID positive. The COVIDaware MN app is good because it helps prevent future COVID-19 in Minnesota and does no harm to the user involved. Though some people either might not use the app or will not use it properly, there is a chance that some people will use it responsibly and properly. If just one more person can quarantine or know they have the virus and choose to stay away, that saves a lot of people from getting exposed to the virus. Though it may be a small percentage of Minnesota who use the app properly, that small percentage can still make a huge difference in combating the spread of COVID-19 with this app making it a necessary and effective program.

Have you downloaded the COVIDawareMN app?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...