LIHU‘E — The state recently launched its official COVID-19 exposure-notification app, “AlohaSafe Alert.”
State Senate Director of Communications Jacob Aki said the app can be found at in-store apps for a few weeks. He said the app was created by the private sector in partnership with the state Department of Health.
“The app is not a contact tracer, and not a GPS (Global Positioning System,)” Aki said. “It will let you know if you’ve been in contact with somebody who has COVID-19.”
Aki said the app does not store a person’s location or identity. When asked if the state will have a contact-tracing app, Aki said “no.”
“In our discussions with the private sector and Department of Health, we don’t think we will have a contact-tracing app in the future,” Aki said. “It’s too much invasion of people’s privacy.
Both residents and visitors may download the app from the Google Play store on Android phones or at the Apple Store for iPhones.
Once a person adds their phone number into the app, they will be notified when they have been exposed to someone with the virus. But it will only work if those around you have the app.
How it works:
• Download the AlohaSafe Alert app onto your phone and follow the directions;
• Devices running the AlohaSafe Alert will anonymously “ping” each other and measure distance and duration through Bluetooth signal strength. Location, name and other identifiable information will not be shared;
• The app will notify you if you are exposed to someone who was diagnosed with COVID-19. You’ll receive a notification if you were within six feet of a confirmed COVID-19 positive case for a minimum of 15 minutes with the past 14 days;
• If you test positive for COVID-19, let your contact tracer know that you have AlohaSafe Alert and you will be able to anonymously notify others who may have been exposed.
“If I have COVID-19, the Department of Health will give me a code to enter into the app, and it will notify everyone I’ve been in contact with if they have the app, and it will say ‘You have been exposed to COVID-19, you should get tested,’” said Aki. “But it will not reveal who has the virus.”
Hawaii Executive Collaborative’s Executive Director Lynelle Marble said the app is not yet available across the state and is currently being piloted on Lana‘i and in Hana.
“This month, we’re going to expand the pilot to all of Maui County and Kaua‘i,” Marble said. “We’re currently working with Mayor Kawakami’s office and the DOH for the rollout.”
More info can be found at http://alohasafealert.org/.
This story was updated Monday, Dec. 7 at 12:19 p.m. with the correct website link and again on Dec. 8 at 10:04 a.m. with correct information.