In a news release Thursday, Gov. Burgum announced the launch of the new Care19 Alert app, which is designed to notify users of possible COVID-19 exposure while protecting their privacy with technology developed by Apple and Google.
“Care19 Alert is a powerful tool in the fight against COVID-19 and another example of how we’re embracing technology and innovation to save lives and livelihoods,” Burgum said.
Burgum added, “North Dakota was the first state to launch a contact tracing app, and now we’re the first state to connect an exposure notification system with the National Key Server, which will allow Care19 Alert to work with similar apps in other states. This makes Care19 Alert a vital resource in keeping schools and businesses open while protecting personal privacy.”
North Dakota-based ProudCrowd LLC developed Care19 Alert in partnership with the North Dakota Department of Health using federal funding.
The technology comes at a critical time, as the school year begins and in-person classes resume for North Dakota students.
“For those heading off to college in the coming weeks, the app can be customized to a student’s college or university so that specific campus information can be quickly provided to the student,” North Dakota University System Chancellor Mark Hagerott said. “The North Dakota University System is committed to providing a safe learning environment, and we encourage everyone to utilize the tools our state has in place to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”
People who use Care19 Alert must explicitly choose to turn on exposure notifications, and they can turn off the app at any time.
Care19 Alert is the first exposure notification app to connect with the National Key Server provided by the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL).
The use of this server allows different states’ apps to communicate with each other, protecting North Dakotans when they are traveling across state borders or when others are visiting North Dakota and subsequently become COVID-19 positive.
Those who already have Care19 Diary will still need to download Care19 Alert to use the exposure notification system; the existing app will not update automatically to incorporate the new technology.