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How To Enable Exposure Notifications and Confidentially Share Your COVID Diagnosis on your iPhone or Android

Traditional methods of contact tracing are critical to containing the spread of infection. Technology can support and augment these efforts by allowing public health authorities to quickly notify people who may have been exposed to a person who has contracted COVID-19, including those the person might not know directly. This starts with Exposure Notifications on your smartphone. These will help your public health authority alert you if you’ve been exposed to COVID-19.

On Android, you can find the app for your area, if available, on Google Play.  Follow the instructions to enable notifications.

If you have an iPhone, opt-in to Exposure Notifications in your device settings.

Open Settings, then scroll down and click Exposure Notifications.

Then make sure you have opted-in (see “#1” in the screenshot below — I have already opted-in so the slider is replaced by the notification box).  If not, slide the button right to turn it on.  If it doesn’t automatically choose California Dept of Public Health as your Active Region, go in and select it.  Once you have opted in, you can see the last time your phone checked for exposures and see a green checkmark if you have no known exposures (as below).

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To notify your potentially exposed contacts, click Share a Positive COVID-19 Diagnosis.  The people who are notified will not know your identity or the location where they were exposed, just that somebody near them has since tested positive. 

Find more background and details here on the collaborative Google | Apple website.

Sky Pittson, MD, January 13, 2022