Minnesota joins more than 20 states and territories, including Washington, D.C., using secure, anonymous technology to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
Governor Tim Walz announced today the availability of a new COVID-19 exposure notification mobile application, COVIDaware MN, which hopes to slow the spread of COVID-19 by helping Minnesotans protect themselves and their loved ones. The voluntary, anonymous application will alert a user if another user with whom they have had close contact during the virus’ infectious period tests positive for COVID-19.
“As we see a dangerous surge in cases across the state, we need to use every tool possible to cut off the spread of the virus,” said Governor Walz. “COVIDaware MN gives our state a powerful and anonymous new tool to alert others we’ve had close contact with – even people we don’t know – and slow the spread of COVID-19.”
COVIDaware MN uses a COVID-19 exposure notification technology developed by Apple and Google. More than 20 states and territories have launched contact-tracing apps based on Google and Apple’s exposure notification technology, including Alabama, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Guam, Hawaii, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wyoming. More states are expected to adopt this technology as part of their COVID-19 response efforts.
Minnesota’s CIO and Commissioner of Minnesota IT Services, Tarek Tomes, said, “This innovative technology protects the privacy of Minnesotans and collects no data about a user.”
Tomes added, “If Minnesotans opt in and follow health recommendations when notified of an exposure, we will slow the spread of COVID-19 and be one step closer to returning to many of the activities we miss so much.”
The app was built with open-source software from PathCheck Foundation, a nonprofit founded at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, dedicated to containing COVID-19, revitalizing the economy, and protecting individual privacy and liberty.