One of the key tools to fight COVID-19 and slow its spread on campus and in the community is right in your pocket.
CA Notify, published by the State of California, uses the Exposure Notifications System from Google and Apple to alert you when you’ve been exposed to COVID-19. It will quickly notify you if you’ve likely been exposed, allowing you to seek medical attention and reduce risk for your loved ones.
This program has the potential to help stop the spread of the infection and its use is highly encouraged, but it is completely voluntary. Users may turn the system on or off at any time, or uninstall the app on an Android device. The system does not collect, track or store users’ location, GPS information, or personal information.Learn more about how California is protecting your privacy.
iPhone users can enable CA Notify in their device’s settings
1. Update your iOS to version 13.7 or later
2. Go into settings
3. Scroll down to Exposure Notifications
4. Turn on Exposure Notifications
5. Select United States> California
CA Notify is available in the Google Play Store.
UCR and other UCs are working with the State of California to stop the spread. UC Riverside students and employees are eligible and encouraged to participate.
When you opt in and the Bluetooth is on, your smartphone will generate and transmit anonymous keys (long strings of random characters). These keys can’t be used to identify your location. Keys change every 10-20 minutes to further preserve your identity and privacy.
Whenever you carry your phone with you and are near other people, your phone and theirs will work in the background, exchanging these privacy-preserving anonymous keys. This is a passive process that begins once you opt in and functions without the app open. It does not drain your battery or use data.
Your phone will record the day that the anonymous keys were received, the duration of the signal, and the distance between the two phones (using Bluetooth signal strength as an approximation). These keys are stored on your phone for 14 days, then automatically deleted.
Several times a day, your phone downloads a list of all the anonymous keys associated with positive COVID-19 cases, and checks them against the list of anonymous keys it has encountered in the last 14 days.
If you have a matching key, the app runs a mathematical calculation developed by epidemiologists using the date, duration, and signal strength to assess your level of risk. You will be notified of an exposure only if the calculation meets the risk threshold. If you receive a notification, you will be directed to instructions on what to do next and how to keep yourself and the people around you safe.
If you ever test positive for COVID-19, you can choose to share your anonymous keys with other app users to notify them of a possible exposure. Sharing this information helps others protect themselves and stops the virus from spreading. To do this you will get a verification code from a medical provider, lab, or public health contact tracer that will allow your anonymous keys to be uploaded to a server to activate notifications to other users. The verification code is required to ensure that only anonymous keys of someone with a verified positive test are shared. When the other users are notified, they will receive a message that they have had a possible exposure to COVID-19 and the date. The positive user’s identity or phone number is not shared, but it possible that it could be guessed based on the exposure date.