Story at a glance
- Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced a voluntary contact-tracing app is available to help Californians control COVID-19 spread.
- The state has recorded nearly 1.4 million confirmed cases.
Facing a sharp increase in new COVID-19 cases, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) launched a new smartphone app available to California residents that will alert people to possible COVID-19 exposures.
The Associated Press (AP) notes that the app is voluntary, likely due to privacy concerns.
"The more people that participate in it, the more that opt in, the more effective this program can be," Newsom said. "We are hoping there will be enough to make this meaningful."
The app utilizes Bluetooth data to detect when people are within 6 feet of each other, where the virus is likely to transmit, for at least 15 minutes.
If the person came into contact with the virus, they will receive a verification code from the state health department, which can be used to issue an anonymous alert to other users who might have also been exposed.
Californians can begin downloading and using the software on Thursday.
As of Tuesday, California reported nearly 1.4 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 20,047 deaths.
AP also confirmed that hospitalization is rising, with all of the state's 400 hospitals reaching roughly 80 percent capacity.
Due to these spikes, Newsom instituted a new statewide stay-at-home order shutting down many public spaces, including public campgrounds, salons, bars and restaurants.