California COVID Notify will help to contain the spread of COVID-19. It complements ongoing contact tracing programs carried out by the local health jurisdictions and enhances the State’s COVID prevention efforts.
Using California COVID Notify is voluntary and free of charge. The more people who install and use the app, the more effectively the app can help us to contain the virus.
Once you install and activate California COVID Notify and turn on Bluetooth, the app works in the background and exchanges anonymous keys with other devices. (Keys are long random strings of characters that are not tied to any personal information). Devices with the app installed will record the keys generated by other devices nearby. The app will record the signal strength, used to estimate the distance between devices, the duration and date of the exposure. To protect the users’ privacy, these keys are only kept on the user’s own device. After 14 days the keys are deleted.
If a California COVID Notify user tests positive for COVID-19, they will be able to obtain a verification code from a healthcare provider, lab or local health authority. The code allows the user to activate the notification function in the app. This warns other app users that were near the infected person in the period close to the time when that person first experienced symptoms of the disease. If the estimated distance was within six feet, the duration of exposure was at least 15 minutes cumulatively, then the other user receives a notification of a possible exposure. Anyone who receives a notification can then follow the guidance in the app and find out what to do next.
You must use the verification code in order to report a positive result via the app. This prevents people from falsely reporting positive results, which could generate false exposure notifications. CDPH wants all app users to feel confident that when a possible COVID-19 exposure is received via the app, that it is a real event.
How California COVID Notify Protects Your Privacy:
Laboratory results for all persons who test positive (cases) for COVID-19 are routinely sent to public health authorities in California to inform disease containment activities such as case investigation and contact tracing. This process is independent of the app. Local public health authorities often follow up with cases, based on information provided within the laboratory report to provide further guidance and identify exposed contacts.
The use of the app is limited to California and is subject to California law.
Thank you for downloading California COVID Notify! Together, we can protect our family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues, and keep California moving forward!