Do you have your phone set to warn you that COVID-19 in close to you?


Cell phone users now can get an app that will notify them if they have been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19. New technology that tracks people anonymously through their iPhones or Android devices. Each person is given a number that regularly changes and no names or other personla information is used, according to the Maryland Department of Health.

The system, called MD COVID Alert, uses Bluetooth Low Energy technology. It does not collect or share information on a person’s identity or whereabouts. It uses the random IDs assigned a person once they’ve been nearby someone who tests positive.

Users who receive an exposure notification alert are advised to get tested, monitor their health for symptoms and quarantine. They also would get a date of possible exposure. Some users may receive a call from a contact tracer if their information is shared by an individual with COVID-19. “MD COVID Alert complements our traditional contact tracing efforts to notify users of possible exposure to help contain the virus,” Maryland Health Secretary Robert R. Neall said in a statement.

The system does not automatically notify people of an exposure. People have to opt into the service by enabling notifications in their phone’s settings and selecting their local region. Android users need to install the MD COVID Alert app from the Google Play store. I'll show you how I did it on my phone below.

The service is free and can be disabled at any time.

For more information about MD COVID Alert, go to covidlink.maryland.gov/mdcovidalert.

On an iphone go to your settings and look for the EXPOSURE NOTIFICATIONS and turn it on to receive updates and make sure to set it for your area. Here's what it looks like on my phone.