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How to turn on COVID-19 contact tracing on your phone

More than 800,000 Coloradans enabled or downloaded the state's contact tracing app since it launched in late October.

COLORADO, USA — As COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations surge in Colorado, there's an easy way to help the state and local health departments track the spread of the virus.

Grab your phone and enable or download the free app called CO Exposure Notifications.

According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), if two people have the app on their phones and come within six feet of one another for about 10 minutes, their phones will connect via Bluetooth and exchange random, anonymous tokens. 

Those tokens log the interaction for 14 days in search of a positive test.

If one of the people tests positive for COVID-19, the other person will receive an alert on their device. If you get an alert, the app will send instructions about quarantine and getting in touch with your local health department.

It's up to the individual who tests positive for COVID-19 to share their diagnosis to notify others of exposure. Local health departments should provide people who test positive with an eight-digit code to verify the diagnosis in the app.

Colorado launched the app in late October, in partnership with Apple and Google. A spokesperson for CDPHE said more than 800,000 Coloradans had enabled or downloaded the app as of Nov. 9.

"We are pleased with the rate of adoption and encourage all Coloradans who have not yet opted in to do so, especially as case numbers continue to go up," the spokesperson said.

Here's how to enable the app for iPhone:

  1. Make sure you have the latest software update.
  2. Go to Settings 
  3. Click on Exposure Notifications 
  4. Select the country and state 

Here's how to enable the app for Android: 

  1. Download CO Exposure Notifications from the Google Play store.

For additional help enabling or downloading CO Exposure Notifications, check out this FAQ page from CDPHE.

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