WI Exposure Notification contact tracing app to launch next week

Gov. Tony Evers announced on Thursday, Dec. 17 the launch of WI Exposure Notification, a new mobile app to assist in notifying contacts, allowing close contacts of those with a positive test to take quicker action will go live for Wisconsinites next week.

A news release from the governor's office said the voluntary app uses Bluetooth technology and will be available for download in the Google Play store, while iPhone users can turn the app on in their phone’s settings. 

Gov. Evers issued the following statement in the release:

"The voluntary WI Exposure Notification app is another tool in our toolbox to stop the spread. Because it lets you know faster if you’ve been in close contact with someone who’s tested positive, you can take steps to keep yourself safe and protect those around you. Also, the app doesn’t collect or use device location, so users will remain anonymous."

How the app works

The WI Exposure Notification app does not use, collect, or store any GPS data or personal details. Instead, it uses Bluetooth technology to anonymously share Bluetooth signals with other smartphones using the app nearby. All people in Wisconsin who test positive for COVID-19 will receive a code that users enter into the app. By entering the code, the person who tests positive anonymously notifies devices their phone has shared Bluetooth signals with during the period of time they may have been contagious. For the app to work properly, Bluetooth must be enabled on the device, and the WI Exposure Notification app must be downloaded and/or enabled before you receive a positive test result.

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The WI Exposure Notification app will launch Dec. 23, which means that Wisconsin residents with smartphones will receive a push notification within a few days of the system going live.

DHS encourages all Wisconsinites to follow the directions from the notification, which will be sent from Google to Android users and from Apple to iPhone users, to ensure the app is downloaded and/or enabled.

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