BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Starting Thursday, Nov. 19 every Alabamian using the GuideSafe™ app for ongoing COVID-19 exposure and monitoring will receive an extra layer of protection with national information.
By connecting with the Association of Public Health Laboratories National Key Server, the GuideSafe™ app will be able to download codes or “keys” from all other states with an exposure notification app on the National Key Server.
It will enable GuideSafe™ users to continually benefit from exposure notifications as they travel across state lines to other states that also have connected their technology connected to the National Key Server.
“Many states rolled out their own exposure notification app with keys on multiple, unlinked servers by state agencies, which made it difficult to send exposures for interactions between individuals using apps from different states,” said Sue Feldman, Ph.D., professor in the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Schools of Health Professions and Medicine. “This interoperability gap was solved by the APHL’s creation of a National Key Server. It will allow more streamlined interoperability of exposure notifications between the Alabama Department of Public Health and other state agencies, creating a tremendous benefit to GuideSafe™ app adopters.”
States with an exposure notification app currently on the National Key Server:
- District of Columbia
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
States piloting an exposure notification app with a limited population on the National Key Server:
GuideSafe™ participates in Apple and Google’s Exposure Notification System (ENS), and the APHL helps deliver that groundbreaking technology to public health agencies across the United States.
“The ability to connect to the National Key Server is yet another remarkable achievement to help guide, protect and inform the people of Alabama,” said Karen Landers, M.D., district medical officer for the ADPH, noting the security the app provides those who utilize it. “The free GuideSafe™ app gives anyone with a smartphone the power to inform ourselves and those around us of potential exposure to COVID-19 safely and securely. To be able to do this now while traveling to the District of Columbia and 12 other states — with more states to come as more are added to the national server — gives each one of us who use GuideSafe™ additional information, which means it gives each of us as individuals additional power as we continue to navigate this pandemic.”
When someone downloads the GuideSafe™ app and then tests positive for COVID-19, they can upload their positive test through the app, which then notifies the ADPH. Subsequently, if you were within 6 feet of person for 15 minutes or more who tested positive — and that person reports their positive test to the app — the ADPH will notify you through the GuideSafe™ app that you have had a potential exposure. By connecting to the National Key Server, that notification is now extended beyond Alabama.
Alabama was an early adopter of exposure notification technology. The Alabama Department of Public Health tapped UAB to design an exposure notification app as part of Gov. Kay Ivey’s efforts to provide a robust platform of COVID-19 testing, symptom monitoring and exposure. Ivey directed $30 million of federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) money for the initiative, and GuideSafe™ was among the first exposure notification technologies available in the United States when it launched Aug. 17.
Ways to download the GuideSafe app: