- Aug 3, 2021
The current pandemic situation has left everyone quite devastated, leading people hanging by a thread. While a number of national and state-level apps are being developed for safety surveys, people are still at a loss to cope up with this swarming death toll and contamination rate that is expanding in numbers day-by-day.
Amidst such chaos, Virginia has come up with its very own free COVIDWISE exposure app as headed by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) tracing any carrier of the virus in the nearby surrounding. Such an application has been used by many other apps to help detecting anyone with symptoms of the virus and stopping and further contamination by notifying the user.
Built on Apple and Google’s Exposure notifications system, it helps smartphones in exchanging anonymous keys over Bluetooth and helps to protect one’s id, speaking of which, it says,
When people who have downloaded the app are near each other for a period of time determined by VDH to represent a risk (a period which is updated based on the latest research), their phones exchange anonymous keys, and each saves the anonymous key of the other phone. Alongside the anonymous key, phones estimate the contact risk of exchange using the date, time, and the duration of the contact, as well as the strength of the Bluetooth signal (to approximate distance). Contact risk is used to determine if a user is notified of potential exposure and is not shared with any user.
Once tested positive, the app will notify other users about it after receiving consent from the infected person. VDH will provide a pin which has to be inserted by the COVID positive patient which has to be shared over the app to contribute for creating precautions among people. In fact, it is only via the VDH provided pin that one can report data and results over the app so as to prevent any false test reports or causing harassment.
Supported by both English and Spanish language, this app operates over Bluetooth, which means that the user always needs to switch on to their Bluetooth to receive proper notifications and can receive signals approximately up to 6 ft distance. Even though this app can be used outside Virginia, it requires pin generated by VDH which again can be received over local phones only. Such restrictions might not be too beneficial for everyone, but those who want to activate COVIDWISE can refer to the Virginia Govt.