Governor Cuomo Announces New COVID Exposure Notification App Available to All New Yorkers

Situation Report | October 5, 2020 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy last week jointly announced the release of each state’s new COVID-19 exposure notification mobile app to supplement contact tracing efforts.

COVID Alert NY can be downloaded here.

The two states’ apps join Pennsylvania and Delaware in creating a regional network that operates across state lines. Connecticut has also announced it will soon launch a system.

The apps use Exposure Notification System technology developed by Google and Apple. It notifies users if they have been in close contact (within six feet for at least 10 minutes) with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and agreed to anonymously notify their “close contacts” by uploading the app’s anonymous close contact codes.

According to Governor Cuomo’s press release, COVID Alert NY is completely anonymous and does not track or collect any location data or personal data from your phone. The COVID Alert uses Bluetooth Low Energy technology — not GPS location data — to detect when another phone with the same app is within six feet. Proximity is measured, but not geographic location.

The app senses a close contact by exchanging a secure random code. If there’s a match, the app will generate an exposure alert and follow-up steps for those who opt-in to receive “Exposure Notifications.”