RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Virginia Department of Health has announced that more than 2.5 million Virginians are using COVIDWISE, a COVID-19 exposure app. This is the highest number of users since the app was launched.
The app allows people to anonymously share their coronavirus test results with other users. The VDH location data or personal data are collected, stored, maintained or passed on to the department.
The app was originally launched in August 2020. The VDH was launched in February 2021 COVIDWISE Express, which notifies users of exposure without requiring them to download the app. It’s only available for iPhones and people have to enable it from the “Exposure Notifications” tab of their settings.
The VDH said 51 percent of users have the app and 49 percent are using COVIDWISE Express.
“With more than 2.5 million users, COVIDWISE is an invaluable tool for increasing our contact discovery efforts,” said State Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver, MD, MA. “People who receive the anonymous exposure reports are advised to monitor their health for symptoms and to take precautions such as staying home, wearing a mask, getting tested, and getting vaccinated or boosted if appropriate, to protect themselves and protect the people around them.”
The Department of Health said a record number of app exposure notifications have been sent since mid-December, with the highest number being 5,260 as of December 31, 2021. Over the past two weeks, the VDH said an average of 2,994 exposure notifications were sent.