Google says 20 US states ‘exploring’ contact tracing

Italian contact tracing smartphone app

Google has said that 20 US states and territories, representing about 45 percent of the nation’s inhabitants, are”exploring” contact tracing programs for its novel coronavirus using a tool it created with Apple Inc.

Additionally, the company stated public health authorities in 16 states and regions outside the US had established programs using the Apple-Google link-up from 12. They include Austria, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Gibraltar, Italy, Republic of Ireland, Japan, Latvia, Northern Ireland, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland and Uruguay.

Apple and Google Alliance COVID-19The technology enables app users to track encounters with people through Bluetooth signals and anonymously inform connections whenever they become infected with the virus.

However, South Carolina lawmakers stopped the release of the state’s app while Alabama officials are contemplating the launching of their program. North Dakota’s program has yet to start.

On Friday, Google said the first of the US programs would be published in the “coming weeks,” but declined to mention the states.

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It added that its system with Apple now allows allowing contact-logging to continue when boundaries are crossed by users.

Northern Ireland’s app, which was released last Friday, is the first that may also trace users in another state, Ireland. The company that developed the app told journalists at the news agency Reuters that it also is making one to the US state of Pennsylvania

The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed this news article. Initial reporting via our content partners at Reuters. Reporting by Paresh Dave. Editing by Diane Craft and Tom Brown.

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