September 29, 2020-COVIDWISE APP Exposure Notification

September 29, 2020

Emory & Henry Community
Use Your Phone to Fight COVID-19
Our phones are in the fight!

Virginia continues to work diligently to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 within the Commonwealth. To help lead the way in the fight against COVID-19, Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is pleased to announce that COVIDWISE, Virginia’s official COVID-19 exposure notification mobile app, launched on August 5, 2020. Virginia was the first state in the United States to deploy an exposure notification app using the Apple/Google Bluetooth Low Energy framework.

Emory & Henry has joined this effort and you are invited to become part of the network. You may download and use this free app available via the App Store and Google Play Store. As you know, the more the Commonwealth’s workforce and citizens are aware of potential exposures to COVID-19, the more likely we are to minimize transmission risk and maintain normal business operations. The VDH acknowledges that no personally identifiable information or location data will be collected, stored, or tracked through COVIDWISE. Use of the app is voluntary, and it can be deleted from any device at any time.

What is COVIDWISE?
COVIDWISE is the official Virginia Exposure Notification System (ENS) app created by the Virginia Department of Health in partnership with Google and Apple. This free smartphone app will be available to all Virginians on Google Play and in the App Store on Aug. 5. After downloading the app, you will be able to use your phone in the fight against COVID-19, without compromising your privacy or personal information.

COVIDWISE uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology to quickly notify users who have likely been exposed so you can reduce the risk for your friends and family and help Virginia stop the spread.

Who should use COVIDWISE?
Everyone with an Android or Apple phone is strongly encouraged to download and use COVIDWISE. By working together and using every tool at our disposal, we can protect ourselves and our communities. Minors should request permission to download and use COVIDWISE from a parent or guardian.

Why is COVIDWISE important?
COVIDWISE will notify you if you’ve likely been exposed to another app user that shared a positive COVID-19 test result. Knowing your exposure history allows you to self-quarantine effectively, seek timely medical attention, and reduce potential exposure risk to your family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues. The more Virginians who use COVIDWISE, the greater the likelihood that you will receive timely exposure notifications that lead to effective disease prevention.

Is my privacy protected?
YES! VDH takes privacy very seriously. Every user decides whether or not to opt-in to receive Exposure Notifications, and if a person is diagnosed with COVID-19, it is up to them whether or not they share their result through COVIDWISE. No location data or personal information is ever collected, stored, or transmitted to VDH. You can delete the app or turn off Exposure Notifications at any time.

How does COVIDWISE work?
COVIDWISE works by using random Bluetooth keys that change every 10-20 minutes. Phones with the app installed will anonymously share these random keys if they are within close proximity. Positive COVID-19 results submitted by other app users are checked against the list of random keys it has encountered in the last 14 days. If there is a match, COVIDWISE may notify the individual, taking into account the date and duration of exposure, and the Bluetooth signal strength which is used to estimate proximity.

How do I download COVIDWISE?
The FREE app is available for download via the App Store and Google Play Store.

Where do I find more information about COVIDWISE?
Ellie Newman, COVID-19 Coordinator
Environmental, Health and Safety Specialist
276-944-6166 enewman@ehc.edu

Additional information is available at COVIDWISE.org