50000 residents download Pennsylvania's covid app in 24 hours

Ruben Fields
September 24, 2020

The app shows the risk level in any local area - based on the postcode district entered when it is downloaded.

The app will then redirect users to book a test online.

The public is being urged to download the NHS Covid-19 app in a bid to fight the virus and keep each other safe.

Matching to see whether an app user has been exposed to any of the risky IDs also takes place locally - meaning exposure alerts are not centralized.

"We have worked extensively with tech companies, worldwide partners, and privacy and medical experts - and learned from the trials - to develop an app that is secure, simple to use and will help keep our country safe", UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock said.

The new app is only available on smartphones.

"You can use the symptom check-in on the app to help remember how you are feeling and whether or not you have symptoms that are consistent with COVID-19 and you can find testing locations if you need to be tested", Levine said.

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A QR code scanning feature allows people to check-in to venues they visit and share their contact details for human tracing efforts.

It uses Apple and Google's built-in Bluetooth technology, designed so that nobody will know who or where users are.

Mr Hancock added: "It is vital we are using the NHS Test and Trace system to reach as many people as possible to prevent outbreaks and stop this virus in its tracks".

It stressed that the app does not hold personal information and no personal data is shared with the government or the NHS.

The England and Wales app does have some of unique quirks - as the government has opted to pack in multiple features, rather than limiting it to only exposure notifications. "We are confident that every person who downloads the app will be helping to protect themselves and their loved ones", he said. The DHSC also confirmed that the mobile phone industry has committed to supporting the new app with the country's major operators - Vodafone, Three, EE and O2, Sky and Virgin - "zero-rating" data charges for all in-app activity.

The COVID Alert PA app is available now for free from Apple's App Store and the Google Play Store.

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