What is it?
The Australian Government has developed an app to help track people who may have come into contact with an infected person. This is vital in containing the spread of the virus. The app is called COVIDSafe.
COVIDSafe uses Bluetooth® technology on your mobile phone to look for other devices with COVIDSafe installed. Your device will take note of contact you’ve had with other users by securely logging their reference code.
If you or someone you’ve been in contact with is diagnosed with coronavirus, the close contact information securely stored in your phone can be uploaded and used with your consent—by state or territory health officials to quickly trace people who’ve been exposed to the virus.
How does COVIDSafe know close contact has occurred?
When two or more app users come into close proximity their phones exchange Bluetooth® signals and make a series of ‘digital handshakes’.
The app notes the encrypted reference code, time and proximity of two users, through the strength of the Bluetooth® signals. This allows the approximate distance between the users and the duration the contact occurred to be determined once the information is uploaded to the highly secure information storage system.
The proximity for a close contact is approximately 1.5 metres, for a period of 15 minutes or more.
To be effective, you should have the app running on your phone whenever you are coming into contact with people. You will receive daily notifications to ensure the app is running.
How do you set up COVIDSafe?
1. Download the COVIDSafe app.
2. Register using a name, mobile phone number, age-range and postcode.
3. Turn on Bluetooth®.
4. Check that COVIDSafe is running when you are out or are likely to come into contact with others.
If you test positive for coronavirus, you can consent for your close contact information to be used by state or territory health officials to contact people who may have been exposed.
If you’ve been exposed to the coronavirus by someone you’ve been in close contact with, state or territory health officials will be able to contact you quickly so you can get the support you need.
Why does Australia need COVIDSafe?
The app will help keep you, your family and your community safe from further spread of coronavirus through early notification of possible exposure.
COVIDSafe is one of the tools we’ll use to help protect the health of the community by quickly alerting people who may be at risk of having contact with the virus.
Use of COVIDSafe will allow us to lift restrictions earlier than would otherwise be possible.
COVIDSafe helps you and all of our communities. Assist health officials to quickly understand and tackle the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Let’s work together to stop the spread of COVID-19!
Download the COVIDSafe app on the Apple App Store or Google Play.
SOURCE: Australian Government