Letter to the editor: Please use the Colorado digital contact tracing system
Summit Daily has reported heavily on Summit County’s manual contact tracing efforts. While these are important, it is increasingly difficult to keep up with the demand as the number of new cases keeps going up. We could greatly increase the efficacy of our contact tracing efforts and save huge amounts of time and money by getting on board with digital contact tracing, an app that allows you to notify others, and be notified, in case of COVID-19 exposure.
Exposure notifications work by using Bluetooth to keep track of the other phones you have been near for more than a few minutes. When someone receives a positive test result in Colorado, they receive a code that can be entered into the system. The system then will notify everyone who was within proximity of the infected person for more than a few minutes in the past 14 days.
Because privacy is an extremely warranted concern in a system like this, it was designed with anonymity in mind. Your phone gets assigned an anonymous ID. When you spend time around other people, your phone will broadcast its ID as well as collect a list of nearby IDs. If you test positive and notify the system, it then will notify each exposed person.
Android users can download CO Exposure Notifications on the Google Play store. IPhone users can enable the system by going to Settings, Exposure Notifications, United States, Colorado.
But a digital contact tracing system provides very little value until enough people start using it. So I appeal to everyone: Please download, enable and use the exposure notification system. Please notify the system if you test positive. And please get tested if you receive an exposure notification.
With almost no effort, this tool could help us reopen before ski season passes us by.
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