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Nevada announces expansion of capabilities of the COVID Trace app

Posted at 1:59 PM, Dec 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-10 01:10:59-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public and Behavioral Health is expanding the capabilities of the COVID Trace app by launching Exposure Notification Express (ENX) through a partnership with Apple and Google.

Nevada is the first jurisdiction to launch both ENX and have an application using the technology.

ENX will be available starting Dec. 10, in all Apple devices and COVID Trace will also continue to be available in both the iOS App Store and Android’s Google Play Store.

Nevadans can opt-in to receive COVID-19 notifications informing them if they have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for the virus. ENX and COVID Trace both use the Bluetooth-based technology, Exposure Notification, developed by Apple and Google to aid in slowing the spread of COVID-19.

The two systems work together and users that opt-in to ENX will build on the current users of COVID Trace.

Starting Dec. 10, users can enable ENX in their iPhone settings on iOS devices. Devices using iOS 13.7 and later can enable the capability to inform people of potential exposure to COVID-19. Nevadans may start receiving availability alerts from their phones on Thursday.

When individuals voluntarily activate ENX, the tool uses Bluetooth technology to exchange random codes between phones without revealing the user’s identity or location. If an ENX or COVID Trace user tests positive for COVID-19, they will receive a verification code from a disease investigator to plug into the app, if they choose.

Any other users who have been within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more of the COVID-19 positive individual will get an anonymous notification of possible exposure.

These tools accelerate how quickly people are notified of a possible COVID-19 exposure, giving individuals the information needed to make responsible decisions around quarantine and testing.

The COVID Trace app currently has more than 130,000 downloads. Using COVID Trace and ENX is voluntary and free.

These tools were developed with privacy and security at their foundation, and the Division is dedicated to ensuring the system keeps all users anonymous. It does not use device location to detect exposures and does not share your identity with other users.

For more information, visit their website.