More than 230,000 people downloaded the State of Minnesota's COVID-19 exposure app in the first week it was available.
The app, called COVIDaware MN, uses Bluetooth technology to notify you if you've been exposed to COVID-19 so you can help slow the spread of the disease – the more people who use it, the more effective the app is.
“Every community is safer when we collectively take steps to care for each other during this pandemic,” Walz said in a statement. “Strong adoption of this important tool will make sure Minnesotans have as much information about potential exposure as possible so they can help protect the people around them, even those they don’t know.”
The state launched the app Nov. 23 and in the first two days it reached the No. 3 spot on the most popular utilities app in the iPhone App Store.
State officials expect more Minnesotans to download and use the app, with a news release noting this week Google sent out push notifications to Android users to let them know the app is available for them to download. Meanwhile, eight universities and colleges, health organizations, and faith communities are encouraging people to use the app.
“The COVIDaware App will be essential to preventing COVID transmission and saving Minnesotan lives. With more than 40% of all COVID transmissions occurring in those without symptoms, this technology is one of our only tools to notify individuals who may have been unknowingly exposed and spreading disease themselves," said Thomas C. Kingsley, the chief epidemiologist and chief health officer at the PathCheck Foundation.
"The great news is this technology can do this without using any personal or location information. The countries and U.S. states that have released this technology have taken a big step closer to simultaneously making their communities safer and providing a path for the economy to stay open."
Minnesotans can learn more about the app on the COVIDaware MN website, and download it today from the Google Play or App Store.