COVID-19 smartphone app launched in Pennsylvania | Ongoing Coverage

Pennsylvania launched a smartphone app Tuesday that will alert users if they’ve been close to someone who later tests positive for COVID-19.

The free app, COVID Alert PA, uses bluetooth technology created by Google and Apple to make such connections anonymously, Gov. Tom Wolf said.

“We need to take advantage of all of the best tools,” Wolf said during a news conference that was streamed live from Philadelphia.

State Health Secretary Rachel Levine said the app is an innovative tool to protect the public from the disease, which has killed 8,023 Pennsylvanians since March after 19 new deaths were reported Tuesday. There were no new deaths counted in Washington, Greene, Fayette and Allegheny counties.

Users of the app have the choice to provide their phone numbers to the Health Department to get a call back to check on their symptoms and determine if they need to be tested for COVID-19, Levine said.

“Make your phone part of the fight,” she said.

The technology is especially effective on college campuses.

Meanwhile, Washington County added eight new virus cases Tuesday to its total that inched to 1,292. Greene County had three new cases, taking its total to 179, and Fayette County added two new cases to its total of 775.

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