New Yorkers can now download a free app to their smartphones that will alert them if they come near people who test positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday the launch of the state's new COVID Alert NY app. New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Delaware will offer their own versions of the app as well. The app uses the phone's existing Bluetooth technology to alert the user when they come within close contact of an infected person, defined as 6 feet.
The app talks to other people's apps. When someone reports to the Department of Health that they are infected, contact tracers will ask if they have the app and are willing to share their contact list, which is automatically generated by being within 6 feet of someone for more than 10 minutes and who also activated the app.