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Marylanders can now use MD COVID Alert to receive notices about COVID-19 exposure on smartphones. The system uses Bluetooth Low Energy technology to quickly notify users who might have been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 with the goal of reducing infections in Maryland.
MD COVID Alert was specifically designed to protect the privacy and personal information of users. Users remain anonymous, their location is never tracked, and no data is collected from their smartphones. Using Bluetooth technology, the system can detect if two devices are near each other without revealing where the devices are or who they belong to.
“Privacy is important. MD COVID Alert does not collect, transmit, or store personal information of users, and the system is completely anonymous,” said Dr. Katherine Feldman, MDH Contact Tracing Unit Director. “We’re asking Marylanders to add their smartphones to the fight against COVID-19 by using MD COVID Alert.”
MD COVID Alert is not a substitute for traditional contact tracing or for preventative public health measures that include wearing a mask, social distancing in public, frequent hand washing and avoiding large crowds.
“MD COVID Alert complements our traditional contact tracing efforts to notify users of possible exposure to help contain the virus,” said MDH Secretary Robert R. Neall. “I encourage Marylanders to use MD COVID Alert to help protect the people around them, including those they might not know directly.”
Starting today, Marylanders with an iPhone or Android smartphone will receive a push notification inviting them to receive exposure notification alerts. iPhone users will be able to opt in by enabling exposure notifications in their phone’s settings and selecting Maryland as their region. Android users will be prompted to opt in by installing the MD COVID Alert app from the Google Play Store. MD COVID Alert is available at no cost and is voluntary. Users can disable exposure notifications at any time.
For details, please see the news release:
For more information about MD COVID Alert, visit covidlink.maryland.gov/mdcovidalert.