Delaware surpasses 100,000 downloads of state’s exposure notification app
NEW CASTLE – Governor John Carney, the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS), and the Delaware Department of Technology and Information (DTI) announced that COVID Alert DE has been downloaded by more than 100,000 adult Delawareans.
With the launch of the exposure notification app on Sept. 15, 2020, DHSS initially hoped to reach about 10 percent of the adult population age 18 or older, or about 77,000 Delawareans. As of Feb. 23, 2021, COVID Alert DE has been downloaded 100,005 times.
In addition, as of Feb. 23, about 9 percent of people who have tested positive and were interviewed by members of Delaware’s Contact Tracing Team since the app was launched in September 2020 said they had COVID Alert DE on their phones. Among their close contacts, about 13 percent told contact tracers that they also had the app on their phones.
“As the winter surge of COVID-19 cases strained our contact tracing system, COVID Alert DE filled a big gap,” said Gov. Carney in a statement. “It anonymously notified Delawareans of potential exposures to the virus and gave Delawareans good information to help keep their family, friends, and neighbors safe. I want to thank all of my fellow Delawareans who have downloaded this app to help limit the spread of COVID-19 in our state.”
Any Delawarean with the COVID Alert DE app will receive an anonymous exposure notification alert if they are identified as a close contact of a COVID-positive individual in Delaware or 21 other states and Washington D.C. Delaware’s app is interoperable with COVID Alert PA in Pennsylvania, COVID Alert NJ in New Jersey and COVID Alert NY in New York, and 18 others states and Washington D.C. Users should download the application in the state where they are currently living and expect to be tested for COVID-19. The exposure notification apps are built on Bluetooth technology from Apple and Google.
“Although COVID-19 cases are declining in Delaware, we urge people to remain vigilant because the virus is still prevalent in our state. In fact, the rate of cases today is much higher than it was last summer,” said Molly Magarik, Secretary of the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS), in a statement to the press. “That’s why we continue to encourage Delawareans to download the COVID Alert DE app as a way to keep themselves and their loved ones safe, especially if they work in a front-line job. And because our app works in concert with similar apps from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and other states, Delawareans have increased protection if they must travel to those states for work, medical appointments or to care for relatives.”
The app is not a substitute for basic public health precautionary measures, including mask-wearing, social distancing in public, avoiding crowds, frequent handwashing, staying home when sick, and getting vaccinated when eligible. Additionally, those who have the app are still asked to speak with contact tracers from the Division of Public Health if contacted.
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