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Users continue to struggle with Colorado's COVID tracking app

The notification service developed in partnership with Google and Apple allows users to be notified if another user they’ve been near tests positive for COVID.
Credit: kusa
Users continue to struggle with Colorado's COVID tracking app.

DENVER — More than five million people live in Colorado, but just 1.4 million have opted into the COVID exposure app. The notification service developed in partnership with Google and Apple allows users to be notified if another user they’ve been near tests positive for COVID-19 within a two-week period.

But users have shared issues about the anonymous service that rolled out at the end of October.

“I activated it months ago,” Jeanaye Wright told 9NEWS on Tuesday. Wright works in retail and opted-in so she could potentially be notified if she was exposed to someone positive.

Unfortunately, she never got a heads up and tested positive for COVID a few days ago.

“The doctor called me and she gave me my positive result and she said that someone would be in contact with me within like 24-48 hours,” she said. “That person would be doing contact tracing and they would also give me a code that I could enter in my phone to show that I have a positive result.”

The Colorado Department of Public Health Environment (CDPHE) stated once they verify a positive result, they send a code for someone to put into the COVID exposure notification app. 

The problem is that many seem to not be getting that notification in a timely manner.

“I haven't heard anything back from anyone,” Wright said. “It's concerning because I think it just goes to show our systems right now are overwhelmed.”

9NEWS reached out to CDPHE for answers as to why people are still struggling to get that code.

In an emailed response the department stated anyone with a positive case should receive a text message with the code within 48 hours of their results, if they don't, there is an email address they can reach out to. That email address is CDPHE_CO_Exposure_Notifications@state.co.us.

CDPHE never explained why people may have an issue getting a code. The department simply stated, "We continue to work with Apple and Google to find efficiencies and solutions to improve ease of use."

“That's how it continues to spread,” Wright added. “People don't get a notification; people don't think about it and they end up going to the grocery store and they end up exposing more people.”

CDPHE also wanted to remind users that in order to utilize the exposure notifications on your iPhone or Android, your Bluetooth setting must be on.

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