Virginia touts nation’s first contact tracing app with Apple-Google tech

FILE PHOTO: A 3D printed Google logo is placed on the Apple Macbook in this illustration taken April 12, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

OAKLAND, Calif. (Reuters) – Virginia on Wednesday launched the first contact tracing app for the novel coronavirus in the United States that uses new technology from Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google.

The state is betting that the app, COVIDWISE, can help it catch new cases faster, though long delays in getting test results must be overcome in order for it to be effective.

Phones with the app exchange Bluetooth signals to keep an anonymous list of close encounters. The app then allows people who catch the virus to notify those contacts without anyone revealing their identity.

“This is a way we can all work together to contain this virus,” Democratic Governor Ralph Northam said in a televised briefing. “No one is tracking you. None of your

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Explainer: Europe’s coronavirus smartphone contact tracing apps

BERLIN (Reuters) – More than 20 countries and territories in Europe have launched or plan smartphone apps that seek to break the chain of coronavirus infection by tracking encounters between people and issuing a warning should one of them test positive.

FILE PHOTO: Florian Heretsch of the developing team of software giant SAP works on the German government official COVID-19 tracing App at the SAP headquarters, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Walldorf, Germany May 29, 2020. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach/File Photo

Most countries in the region have opted to use Bluetooth short-range radio to monitor close encounters that could spread the disease, after concluding that tracking people’s movements using location data would be intrusive.

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Since there is no cure or vaccine for COVID-19, governments have turned to technology to contribute to broader efforts to contain

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Google says 20 U.S. states, territories ‘exploring’ contact tracing apps

FILE PHOTO: People walk past the logo of Google in Davos, Switzerland Januar 22, 2020. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/Files/File Photo

OAKLAND, Calif. (Reuters) – Alphabet Inc’s Google said on Friday that 20 U.S. states and territories, representing about 45% of the country’s population, are “exploring” contact tracing apps for the novel coronavirus using a tool it developed with Apple Inc.

In addition, the company said public health authorities in 16 countries and regions outside the United States had launched apps using the Apple-Google tool. They include Austria, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Gibraltar, Italy, Ireland, Japan, Latvia, Northern Ireland, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland and Uruguay.

The technology enables app users to track encounters with other people through Bluetooth signals and anonymously notify contacts if they later become infected with the virus.

Google had previously said in May that three states – Alabama, North Dakota and South Carolina – would be launching apps

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Uber offers COVID-19 contact tracing help amid chaotic U.S. response

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Uber Technologies Inc has quietly launched a service to give public health officials quick access to data on drivers and riders presumed to have come into contact with someone infected with COVID-19, company officials told Reuters.

FILE PHOTO: An Uber driver in a surgical mask is seen in a mirror in the Manhattan borough, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in New York City, U.S., March 15, 2020. REUTERS/Jeenah Moon/File Photo

The service, offered free of charge, could help burnish the image of the ride-hailing giant, which recently launched a new ad campaign spotlighting its “No Mask, No Ride” policy in the United States.

Now being promoted to government health officials in all the countries where it operates, the service provides health departments with data about who used Uber’s services and when and allows health agencies to urge affected users into quarantine, the company

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