LANSING — The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget (DTMB) and Michigan State University (MSU), have partnered to launch a COVID-19 exposure notification app.
The app will pilot on MSU’s campus and for the surrounding community as a next step to help reduce the spread of the virus following increased testing and additional contact tracing efforts throughout the state.
MI COVID Alert is a free, voluntary and anonymous exposure notification app. By submitting a non-identifying code provided by the health department, users with COVID can confidentially alert students, staff and others who may have also been exposed to the virus.
MDHHS Director Robert Gordon said that this app is a way for MSU to lead the way.
“MSU has an opportunity to lead the way for all of Michigan in using this easy-to-use app to avoid a second wave,” he said. “While masking and social distancing remain as critical as ever, MI COVID Alert is another way to help the MSU and Ingham County community contain COVID while leading their lives.”
MSU President Dr. Samuel Stanley Jr. said that Spartans are sending a clear message.
“Preventing the spread of the virus is of utmost importance, and early detection efforts are essential in our overall approach to battling the virus,” he said. “By downloading the app, Spartans are sending a clear message that we are committed to being part of the solution.”
When a person tests positive for COVID, they will receive a pin that allows them to share their results anonymously on the app. The app also uses a low energy Bluetooth technology to detect nearby phones with the app and if an app user has been in close contact with someone who submitted a positive result, a notification will be sent to their phone.
The app is encouraged to be used in addition to social distancing, mask-wearing and hand washing.
Whether someone experiences symptoms or remains asymptomatic, anyone exposed to COVID-19 should consider getting tested and quarantining and should watch for symptoms for 14 days from the date of possible exposure. On-campus testing centers are available for students, faculty and staff. Information is available on MSU’s COVID-19 testing page. Individuals in need of testing may also contact the Michigan COVID-19 hotline by calling 888-535-6136 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, or dialing 211 on their mobile phone to locate and schedule an appointment at a nearby, off-campus testing location.
The state will evaluate possible expansion based on results of the pilot program.
The app is available in the Apple and Google app stores.