June 8, 2023
New York State News

Cuomo Unveils ‘COVID Alert’ App That Notifies Users They’ve Been Within Six Feet Of An Infected Person

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NEW YORK — The war on COVID-19 may have just gotten a little smarter. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled a new smartphone app on Thursday that alerts users if they’ve been within 6 feet of a person who has tested positive for the virus.

The app, called “COVID Alert NY,” employs Bluetooth technology to record whenever users come within proximity of each other, though Cuomo cautioned on a conference call with reporters that it’s anonymous and collects no personal or geographic data.

“It doesn’t give any names, doesn’t give any privacy information,” the governor said.

The technology only works if a person who tests positive downloads the app and registers the COVID-19 diagnosis.

To stop the spread of COVID-19, New York needs each of us to do our part. One way you can help yourself and your community is by participating in our newly launched mobile contract tracing app COVID Alert NY.

COVID Alert NY is a voluntary, anonymous, exposure-notification smartphone app. You will get an alert if you were in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19. Knowing about a potential exposure allows you to self-quarantine immediately, get tested and reduce the potential exposure risk to your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and others.

The more people who download COVID Alert NY, the more effective it will be. Help protect your community while maintaining your privacy. The free mobile apps–available to anyone 18 or older who lives, works, or attends college in New York or New Jersey–are available for download from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store. COVID Alert NY is available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Bengali, Korean, Russian and Haitian Creole. 

Download the free app to your smartphone to receive an alert if you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Download the app on Apple App Store or get it on Google Play

This is the official app of New York State, run by the NYS Department of Health as part of New York State’s comprehensive COVID-19 testing and contact tracing effort. The ultimate goal is to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 by:

1. Alerting you if a sick person spends 10 mins or more within 6 feet of you, because this puts you at a higher risk of SARS CoV-2 infection, which causes COVID-19.

2. Encouraging you to contribute to the health and safety of your friends, family and community by alerting others if you test positive, WITHOUT REVEALING YOUR IDENTITY TO ANYONE!

3. Getting you important resources and help if you are exposed or test positive. You can call the COVID Alert NY Hotline or find helpful links to resources on next steps to protect your loved ones.

4. Keep a private log of your own symptoms which can help your health care provider and public health representatives determine next steps.

The app leverages a completely private and secure Bluetooth-based technology that Apple and Google developed. The app’s source code is available to the public and has been vetted extensively by privacy and security experts. The app never see your location or identity, and no information on the use of this app can be traced back to you.

Help Stop the Spread of COVID-19 in New York.. Share this app with your friends and family so we can all be safer, together.

The app cost about $700,000 to produce, and the bill was footed with a mixture of federal aid and cash put up by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s philanthropic organization, according to Cuomo adviser Larry Schwartz.

The beefed-up contact-tracing effort comes amid some troubling COVID-19 trends in New York.

Out of 109,218 tests conducted in the state Wednesday, 1.27% came back positive, nearly a 0.3% uptick from the previous day.

Cuomo attributed the slight increase to skyrocketing infection rates in a handful of coronavirus “clusters” in the state, most of which are in predominantly Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods of Brooklyn, Rockland County and Orange County.

With this month’s celebration of the Jewish High Holidays, some residents have attended large gatherings in violation of social distancing and face mask guidelines, likely contributing to the spike in infections.

Cuomo told reporters on the conference call that he had spoken with leaders of the impacted communities.

“They’re going to take action on their own, community action,” the governor said. “We’re going to have public education, we’re going to be handing out flyers and mailings and that’s a good step.”

But Cuomo also faulted local governments for not doing more to enforce social distancing requirements.

“If they’re not wearing masks, they should be fined,” he said. “Enforcement works. If you speed in your car, you get a ticket, that’s how it works. Compliance works, enforcement works. We’re in this situation partially because local governments have not been doing compliance.”

City workers have headed out to COVID-19 hot spots in Brooklyn this week to hand out masks and literature on the importance of social distancing.

In addition, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday that hundreds of NYPD officers are expected to start patrolling the areas to ensure compliance.

Cuomo welcomed that development.

“Compliance and enforcement is key,” he said.


Seller New York State Department of Health
Size 18.2 MB
Category Health & Fitness
Compatibility  Requires iOS 13.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone.
Languages  English, Bengali, Chinese, Korean, Russian, Spanish
Age Rating 17+ 
Frequent/Intense Medical/Treatment Information
Copyright © 2020 New York Department of Health
Price Free

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1 comment

Ellen October 19, 2020 at 9:23 AM

Google and Apple already have your data for everything you do. How do you like that they will have your health data to do with whatever they want. Wake up people they are herding us like sheep into a pen.


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