RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – Researchers are looking into how reliable the Virginia Department of Health’s COVIDWISE contact tracing app is, and how it’s working to stop the spread of COVID-19.

The app, launched in August, is able to notify you when you’re around someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

According to VDH, less than nine percent of the population has downloaded it.

Using Washington state as their subject, researchers were able to run simulations and found if 15 percent of the population were to use it, total infections could go down by six to eight percent. Researchers note Virginia has a comparable population to Washington.

Currently, 18 percent of 18 to 65-year-olds who have a smartphone use the app. Using that percentage means the Commonwealth has avoided about 17,000 infections.

Other factors, like social distancing, are also contributing to limiting a spread. The simulations showed if more people download it, the percentage of cases can drop.