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How effective is the state’s COVID-19 tracking app?

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We’ve been talking a lot about North Dakota’s contact tracing app Care19 at KX News.

We’ve discussed privacy and cybersecurity, but just how effective is the app, anyway?

For the first time since COVID-19 made its way into the state, we sat down with the head of contact tracing, to discuss Care19, soon to be renamed Care19 Diary.

When the app was first released, there were some accuracy challenges, and users would have to go in and manually fill in locations.

Now on its third update, Care19 is much more reliable.

North Dakota Department of Health Contact Tracing Facilitator Vern Dosch tells us it’ll never be perfect, but after the app was rushed out at the beginning, it’s steadily improving. And he says, it is serving its purpose, contact tracing in the background of your day.

“I mean there were a lot of states who didn’t have the infrastructure, didn’t have the initiative, didn’t have the people, and it just got out of hand and they said ‘we’re just not going to trace anymore’. You know, it got out of control. We were determined not to do that, at the Governor’s directive,” Dosch shared.

The other issue is that only about 34,600 people, or less than 5 percent of the state’s population, even use the app, leaving a lot to be desired in terms of contact tracing.

In about three weeks, the state plans to push out the second Care19 app, Care19 Exposure, which will use Bluetooth technology rather than GPS.

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