RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Virginia Department of Health announced that more than 2.5 million Virginians are using COVIDWISE, a COVID-19 exposure app. This is the highest number of users since the app launched.
The app allows people to anonymously share their coronavirus test results with other users. The VDH location data or personal information is collected, stored, tracked or transmitted to the department.
The app was originally launched in August of 2020. In February of 2021, the VDH launched COVIDWISE Express, which notifies users about exposure without requiring them to download the app. It is only available for iPhones, and people need to turn it on through the “Exposure Notifications” tab of their settings.
The VDH said 51 percent of users have the app, and 49 percent are using COVIDWISE Express.
“With more than 2.5 million users, COVIDWISE is an invaluable tool to augment our contact tracing efforts,” said State Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver, M.D., M.A. “People receiving the anonymous exposure notifications are advised to monitor their health for symptoms and to take precautions, such as staying home, wearing a mask, getting tested, and getting vaccinated or boosted if eligible, to protect themselves and those around them.”
The department of health said there have been a record number of app exposure notifications being sent since mid-December, with the single highest number of notifications being 5,260 on Dec. 31, 2021. Over the last two weeks, the VDH said there were an average of 2,994 exposure notifications sent.