New NC DHHS app alerts you to possible COVID-19 exposure

There’s a new app that can alert you to COVID-19 exposure.

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services launched the app Tuesday, available for free in the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.

Called SlowCOVIDNC, once you download it, you need to enable Bluetooth and exposure notifications on your smartphone. Your device will then share random IDs with other phones nearby. DHHS said the app is anonymous and the connections are “a string of random letters and numbers which changes every 10-20 minutes,” according to the app.

The app is designed to add to existing contact tracing already in place across the state. The app is voluntary, so the more people who use it, the more interactions between devices.

Bluetooth signal strength is also recorded on your phone to estimate the distance between phones, so exposure follows the definition of “close contact” of six feet or closer for

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