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Hawaiʻi's COVID-19 Notification App Reaches 1M Activations

Hawaiʻi’s official COVID-19 notification app, AlohaSafe Alert, has reached 1 million activations since its launch in January 20201.

Using the app, people can anonymously report their positive COVID-19 infections. The app will then use Bluetooth to notify other users if they have been within 6 feet of someone with the virus for longer than fifteen minutes.

So far, over 600 people have uploaded their infection information to anonymously send caution notices to the community.

"This digital exposure notification does not replace traditional tracing, but it really complements or supplements those activities. So they will continue and we’re looking at this as something that layers on," said Josh Quint, an epidemiologist for the Hawaiʻi State Department of Health.

The app has been downloaded by both residents and visitors alike.

The app is required for anyone traveling to Maui County but is voluntary for travel to all other islands. The ratio of visitor users cannot be determined because of the app’s privacy protections.

Twenty-two other states and the District of Columbia have also created similar apps for their communities. Hawaiʻi was among the first to adopt EN Express, which allowed iPhone users to opt-in to the service without downloading an app.

Zoe Dym was a news producer at Hawaiʻi Public Radio.
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