MD COVID Alert
|Developer||Maryland Department of Health|
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Your personal use of MD COVID Alert will help anonymously alert Maryland residents who may have been near someone with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis. When you enable MD COVID Alert, you are doing your part to efficiently and effectively help your community slow the spread of COVID-19.
How MD COVID Alert works:
When devices with MD COVID Alert are in close contact, they exchange random identifiers using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). When someone tells their app that they tested positive for COVID-19, whoever received their random identifiers may receive an alert that they may have possibly been exposed to COVID-19. When a device receives random identifiers it date-stamps them and records their signal strength so that the Exposure Notification system can estimate how close the two devices were to each other and for how long. If the timeframe was at least 15 minutes and the estimated distance was within six feet, then the other user receives a notification of a possible exposure.
Apple and Google’s Exposure Notifications framework runs in the background, even when the MD COVID Alert app is closed. It will not drain the device battery at a rate that would occur with other apps that use normal Bluetooth and/or are open and running constantly.
How MD COVID Alert Protects Your Privacy:
Maryland takes your privacy and confidentiality very seriously. Apple and Google’s framework is designed to avoid correlating any personal data and location information with the random identifiers that devices exchange. Maryland Department of Health does not want or need to know where or who you are for MD COVID Alert to work. If you are close enough to another app user, your device’s BLE will exchange random identifiers with that user.
Laboratory results for all persons who test positive for COVID-19 are sent to Maryland Department of Health. This is not associated with the app. Our staff follows up with persons reported as positive, based on information provided within the laboratory report. As a courtesy to all app users, MD COVID ALert will verify positive tests and then provide MD COVID Alert users with a personal identifying number (PIN). You must use that PIN in order to report a positive result to the app. This prevents people from falsely reporting positive results, which could generate false exposure notifications. Maryland Department of Health wants all app users to feel confident that when a possible COVID-19 exposure is received via the app, that it is a real event.
If you have the current Apple or Google operating system installed on your device, you may have noticed that Exposure Notifications are now included. You cannot enable this function until you have installed the MD COVID Alert app. Apple and Google will delete the exposure notification service tools from their respective operating systems once the pandemic reaches a point that public health no longer requires the use of this technology.
Thank you for installing MD COVID Alert! Together, we can protect our family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues, and keep Maryland moving forward!