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Oregon hopes to launch COVID-19 exposure notification app in near future

COVID-19 exposure notification

    PORTLAND, Oregon (KPTV) -- Like Washington, Oregon is hoping to launch a COVID-19 exposure notification app in the near future.

But if you already received an alert for it, FOX 12 has learned it went out by mistake.

Over the new year, iPhone users in Oregon got an alert asking if they wanted to sign up for the app. According to Oregon Health Authority's website, that was an error, because the project is still under development.

FOX 12 spoke with Senior Health Advisor at OHA, Shimi Sharief, about the app. She said developed by Google and Apple, it uses Bluetooth to figure out who you've been around, how long you've been around them, and if they are contagious or not.

She said the app doesn't share your name, information or location.

“Misconceptions that the app is tracking location with traditional GPS signals, this is inaccurate," said Sharief. "There’s no location information saved on the device or transmitted to Google, Apple or last of all, our state governments."

"It actually just generates proximity information and saves on automized keys that are then mostly mathematical signals that can then be transmitted to a phone on a contact device, if somebody was to identify as a case," she continued. "The only way to verify a case as truly a case is for that person to voluntarily share that information in the app.”

Washington rolled out the app in late November. Sharief said she hopes Oregon will come out with something before April.

“We really hope that the app will be a good supplement to really keeping community transmission down, while we roll out the vaccine," said Sharief. "It’s still important to note that COVID is really surging in many localities and many states and so it’s important to have one more tool in our toolbox to keep Oregonians safe.”

When the app does officially launch, unlike Apple users, Android users will need to physically download it first.

Coronavirus / News / Oregon-Northwest / Top Stories

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  1. No thanks. Another gimmick meant to enrich some and put more surveillance on the rest of us.

    Oregon’s government can’t even run an unemployment office, or a COVID 19 vaccination program, or much of anything else at all well.

    Nor protect its cities from violence (e.g. Portland, Tigard, Salem).

    No thanks…

  2. Go Oregon! Maybe we put together another Blue Ribbon committee to figure out how we can equitably roll out the app. Lets make sure that the homeless all get new smartphones so they can maintain a healthy and safe lifestyle. We are going to roll it out 4 months after Washington, huh, are we not technically savvy on this side of the Columbia? Only under Commandant Kate Brown….

  3. Oregon state government could screw up a junkyard. how long has this taken? How much money spent? How about we shift those resources to getting shots in peoples arms. let a software company develop the software, then but the product from them. Or buy it off another state. Our governments expertise is clearly not in software development. Ever tried to use an Oregon website? How much did we blow with the unemployment site? How many Islands did we buy for Larry at Oracle?

  4. How timely! Wasn’t this announced as a venture that included Washington State & California? Their contacting tracing apps were successfully rolled out months ago before the vaccine was approved. Once again Oregon both government administrators & personnel prove to be incompetent & incapable of meeting crucial deadlines or even of finding their own behinds using both hands and a flashlight wasting money like they allow doses of vaccine to be thrown away while Oregonians suffer. My 25 year old Uber driver told me to call for an appointment and just say I drive Covid sufferers to doctor appointments and I will get a shot – that’s what he and all his friends did. How profoundly corrupt and inequitable but worst of all blatantly stupid is everyone who has the literal power of determining who lives or dies? Really discouraging and downright criminal!

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