COVID Alert DE Surpasses 50,000 Downloads of App

Exposure notification app is supplementing Delaware’s contact tracing efforts

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney, the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS), and the Delaware Department of Technology and Information (DTI) announced that COVID Alert DE has surpassed more than 50,000 downloads among Delawareans.

About 9 percent of people who have tested positive and were interviewed by members of Delaware’s Contact Tracing Team since the exposure notification app was launched on September 15 have said they downloaded the exposure notification app on their phone. Among their close contacts, 16 percent told contact tracers that they also had COVID Alert DE on their phones.

“COVID Alert DE is another tool to help slow the spread of the virus in our state,” said Governor Carney. “As more and more Delawareans download the app, we know that it is successfully supplementing our contract tracing efforts through anonymous and secure exposure alerts. That will help us keep our transmission rates low going forward – and make even more progress getting more children back to school, and more Delawareans back to work.”

Any Delawarean with the COVID Alert DE app will receive an anonymous exposure notification alert if they are identified as a close contact of a COVID-positive individual in Delaware or three other states. Delaware’s app is interoperable with COVID Alert PA in Pennsylvania, COVID Alert NJ in New Jersey and COVID Alert NY in New York. Users should download the application in the state where they are currently living and expect to be tested for COVID-19. The exposure notification apps are built on Bluetooth technology from Apple and Google.

COVID Alert DE is available in the App Store or Google Play.  

“I want to urge more Delawareans to download the COVID Alert DE app as a way to keep themselves and their loved ones safe, especially if you work in a front-line job or are living on a college campus,” said Molly Magarik, Secretary of the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS). “If you already have the app, I urge you to use the symptom tracker every morning, especially with flu season expected to intermingle with COVID-19 during the fall and winter.”

The app is not a substitute for basic public health precautionary measures – including mask-wearing, social distancing in public, avoiding crowds and frequent handwashing. Additionally, those who have the app are still asked to speak with contact tracers from the Division of Public Health if contacted.

Download the app:

Apple Store

Google Play

Visit de.gov/covidalert for additional information about COVID Alert DE, or send questions to DPHCall@delaware.gov. 

Are you a business, nonprofit, or organization interested in COVID Alert DE? Email questions about partnership opportunities to DHSS_TownHall@delaware.gov.  

Anyone with a question about COVID-19, whether related to medical or social service needs, should call Delaware 2-1-1. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing can text their ZIP code to 898-211. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. 

Questions can also be submitted by email at DPHCall@delaware.gov.

###

 


State of Delaware Launches COVID Alert DE Mobile App

Free app uses Google/Apple platform and protects user privacy; Available for download today in App Store or Google Play

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney, the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS), and the Delaware Department of Technology and Information (DTI) on Tuesday launched COVID Alert DE – a mobile app available in the App Store or Google Play that will help Delaware fight community spread of COVID-19.

The free mobile app – available to anyone 18 or older who lives, works, or attends college in Delaware – uses Bluetooth technology from Google and Apple to securely and anonymously alert users who have been in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

By downloading COVID Alert DE, Delawareans can use their phones in the fight against COVID-19 without compromising privacy or personal information. COVID Alert DE also allows users to log symptoms and get more information on COVID-19 in Delaware.

“This app is an important tool to help Delawareans understand the risks of COVID-19, and to help fight community spread of this virus,” said Governor Carney. “Knowing you’ve had a potential exposure and taking the basic precautions is the best way to protect your most vulnerable family members, friends, and neighbors who are at risk of serious illness. I would encourage all Delawareans to download this app and help in our fight against COVID-19.”

COVID Alert DE was created in partnership with the software developer NearForm. The app will allow for interoperability and exposure notifications across state lines in states that also have exposure notification apps and use the same Bluetooth technology developed by Apple and Google. The app is not a substitute for basic precautionary measures – including mask-wearing, social distancing in public, and frequent handwashing.

“COVID Alert DE is a new and important tool in the fight against COVID-19 because it supplements the work of the Division of Public Health’s contact tracing teams,” said Molly Magarik, Secretary of the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS). “Typical contact tracing relies on an individual remembering the names of people they have been in contact with – and for how long. Using the COVID Alert DE app will help to speed up the process of notifying close contacts and identifying close contacts. Because we expect younger people to embrace the app at higher rates, we are especially pleased that the University of Delaware and Delaware State University are prepared to promote the app among their students and staff.”

Users of COVID Alert DE may receive an exposure notification if they were in close proximity of someone who tested positive for COVID-19, and also has the app downloaded on their phone. Close proximity is defined as within six feet for 15 minutes or more. The app uses Bluetooth technology to recognize when other phones nearby are running the application.

“The COVID Alert DE Mobile App puts power in citizens’ hands to protect each other in the fight against COVID-19,” said Cian O’Maidin, CEO of NearForm. “The open source technology was built with privacy and data protection at its core. The app exchanges regularly-changing anonymous Bluetooth ID, to break transmission chains. The State of Delaware has taken a great approach, using technology that has been peer reviewed and rolled out successfully in Ireland and parts of the UK. We look forward to working with them to slow the spread of the virus.”

COVID Alert DE does not collect or share personal information that can identify users. The app also does not use Global Positioning System (GPS) location data to detect the location of users or track movements. The app uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BTE) technology, which allows phones with the app to recognize when it is near other phones also running the application.

Delawareans identified as close contacts of positive cases may receive an alert from the app, as well as outreach from the Division of Public Health’s (DPH) contact tracing team. An exposure alert on COVID Alert DE alone will not trigger a call from Delaware contact tracers.

“The State of Delaware takes our obligation to protect your privacy very seriously,” said Jason Clarke, Acting Chief Information Officer at the Delaware Department of Technology and Information (DTI). “We want to reassure app users that your identity and location remain anonymous and that your privacy is protected at all times. The app is a tool that can be leveraged to close the gap and provide awareness for you to act upon. Using the app can help protect you and ensure you are doing your part to help protect others against COVID-19.”

Visit de.gov/covidalert for additional information about COVID Alert DE.

Are you a business, nonprofit, or organization interested in COVID Alert DE? Email questions about partnership opportunities to DHSS_TownHall@delaware.gov

Download the app:  

Apple Store

Google Play

Anyone with a question about COVID-19, whether related to medical or social service needs, should call Delaware 2-1-1. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing can text their ZIP code to 898-211. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Questions can also be submitted by email at DPHCall@delaware.gov.  

Report a business for COVID-19 non-compliance using this form.  

DPH will continue to update the public as more information becomes available. For the latest on Delaware’s response, go to de.gov/coronavirus

###


#MaskUpDE

“It’s easy to look at where we are now and think that we’ve won. But this virus is still highly contagious and is still out there in our community. Now more than ever it’s important to do all the things that we did to get us to this point.” – Dr. John Fink, Medical Director of Bayhealth Medical Center.

Following basic health precautions is the best way to prevent community spread of COVID-19, and to protect the progress we have made against this disease. Wear a mask. Wash or sanitize your hands frequently. Keep your distance from others outside your household.”


July 14, 2020: COVID-19 Briefing

 

Governor John Carney will hold a press briefing at 1:45 p.m. in the auditorium of the Carvel State Office building to answer questions from members of the press about Delaware’s response to coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

 

 

 

 


July 7, 2020: COVID-19 Briefing

Watch a live press briefing around 1:45pm on Tuesday on coronavirus with Governor Carney and state officials.