California launching Apple-Google exposure notification app on December 10

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California will launch its coronavirus exposure notification app, based on the Apple and Google framework, to the public on Thursday.

The CA Notify app is based on the Apple-Google Exposure Notification API, which the two tech giants unveiled earlier in 2020. The app was initially piloted at the University of California, San Diego and the University of California, San Francisco.

On Dec. 10, Californians will be able to opt in to receive notifications if they've recently come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, Governor Gavin Newsom's office announced Monday

As with other systems based on the Apple-Google model, the CA Notify app is privacy-respecting and doesn't collect location data. It uses Bluetooth to exchange anonymous identifier codes between iPhone and Android devices without the need for personally identifiable information. Similarly, it doesn't send data to any centralized server.

"CA Notify will help slow the spread by alerting those who opt in to receive an alert if they've come into contact with someone who has tested positive. The process is private, anonymous and secure, and is one of the many tools in the state's data-driven approach to help reduce the spread," Gov. Newsom said.

According to TechCrunch, exposure will be defined as being within six feet of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 for a period of 15 minutes or more. Users who test positive for coronavirus will get a text code to input into CA Notify, which will notify anyone who met the above criteria within the prior 14 days.

California joins about a dozen other states that have launched COVID-19 exposure notification apps based on the Apple-Google framework, including New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Nevada.

The CA Notify app will be available as a free download on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. Californians may also start receiving availability alerts starting Thursday, Dec. 10.

As of Dec. 7, California had 1.37 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 19,937 deaths. Recent surges throughout the state have prompted officials to implement new stay-at-home lockdowns in Southern California, the San Francisco Bay Area, and the San Joaquin Valley region