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Virginia’s Recently Released COVID-19 Exposure Notification App Uses Apple/Google API

Virginia’s Recently Released COVID-19 Exposure Notification App Uses Apple/Google API

Virginia has become the first U.S. state to release a COVID-19 exposure notification app using Apple’s and Google’s jointly developed API. The app is available now on the App Store.

The app was first noted by Kyle Carmitchel on Twitter.


The COVIDWISE Virginia Exposure Notification was developed in partnership with SpringML using a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) API framework created through a unique collaboration between Apple and Google.

How COVIDWISE Works:

If someone reports to the app that they tested positive, the signals from their app will search for other app users who shared that signal. The BLE signals are date-stamped and the app estimates how close the two devices were based on signal strength. If the timeframe was at least 15 minutes and the estimated distance was within six feet, then the other user receives a notification of a possible exposure. No names! No location!

The BLE framework within COVIDWISE will run in the background, even if the exposure notification app is closed. It will not drain the device battery at a rate that would occur with other apps that use normal Bluetooth and/or are open and running constantly.

iPhone users must be running iOS 13.5 or later in order for exposure notification apps using the Apple/Google API to function, and the opt-in feature must be enabled first in the Settings app. For those users running iOS 14, please note that exposure notification apps are only functional as of the fourth developer beta.

So far, public health authorities have used ENS to launch in 16 countries and regions across Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, and South America, with more apps currently under development.

In the United States, 20 states and territories—representing approximately 45% of the U.S. population—are exploring apps based on ENS. We expect to see the first set of these apps roll out over the coming weeks. The Association of Public Health Laboratories also announced recently that it will host a national key server to support all U.S. states, which will allow people with Exposure Notification apps to receive alerts even if they travel across state borders.