COVID19 Tracking Apps

As I’m going through the readings this week, I’ve been thinking about the various COVID19 tracking apps being deployed across the US. North Dakota was one of the first (if not the first) states to have an app developed for location tracking. It launched in early April and made national news for a week or so.

Care19 (now Care19 Diary) was developed along with ProudCrowd (which had been used to track NDSU football fans on their way to the national championship every year in Texas), and essentially caches locations you spend more than 10 minutes at. If you are contacted by public health, you can choose to release your location info to them to help with contact tracing. Apparently, all information gathered is assigned to a random ID. There’s more, but the gist is that it’s a location tracker and doesn’t “talk” to the other devices around you to see who you’ve been in contact with.

Care19 Alert (coming soon!) is a “companion” app that uses the Google/Apple systems that we’ve all been hearing about.

More Care19 info if you’re interested: https://ndresponse.gov/covid-19-resources/care19

I’m curious about what other areas and states are doing as far as app development or if they’re waiting for a broader app straight from one of the tech giants. While ND’s system is far from perfect, I appreciate that they emphasize consenting to share information with the health department (even though it’s all being tracked anyways).

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