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Wisconsin contact tracing app expected to launch Wednesday

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Governor Tony Evers announced a new contact tracing app will launch Wednesday.

WI Exposure Notification is a mobile app that will assist in notifying contacts and allowing close contacts of those with a positive test to take quicker action.

“We’re excited about this app’s potential to enhance our state’s response to COVID-19,” said Gov. Evers. “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.”

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 signals with other smartphones using the app nearby. 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.

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.

“The more people who use the app, the more effective it will be, just like the public health measures we’ve been talking about throughout this pandemic.” said Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) Secretary-designee Andrea Palm. “Stay home, wash your hands, wear a mask, physically distance, and use the WI Exposure Notification app.”

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.

The app will be available for download in the Google Play store, while iPhone users can turn the app on in their phone’s settings.

Emily Friese

27 News Producer

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