Alabama COVID-19 exposure app grows with more than 100,000 downloads

Updated: Oct. 23, 2020 at 10:24 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - It started as a way for college students to know if they’d been exposed to COVID-19, but anyone can use it now.

The GuideSafe Exposure Notification app isn’t just for college students anymore, and is expanding to help more Alabamians.

“It’ll tell you only the date that the exposure took place,” said Curt Carver, UAB VP and Chief Information Officer.

It works by running low-energy in the background, and it knows when you’re close to someone for 15 minutes who also has the app.

“Thousands of people have been notified that they’ve been in close proximity,” said Carver.

The app never asks for your personal details and never knows who you are.

“It does not access your contact list, it does not access GPS and it does not even know your name,” said Carver.

GuideSafe doesn’t track you, just contact with others who have the app.

“Every 10-20 minutes it’s assigning you a really long number,” he said, explaining it’s encrypted.

If your number comes up as one exposed to a number who reports a positive test, you get notified.

“Wearing a mask and social distancing are still important, but where this app really shines is when you around strangers that you don’t know,” said Carver.

It’s free and available on any smart phone under GuideSafe.

Hoover and Birmingham have partnered with UAB to produce PSAs asking people to download the app.

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