Source: US State of Pennsylvania
November 18, 2020
Press Release, Public Health
Governor Tom Wolf today announced that more than 500,000 Pennsylvanians have added their phone to the fight to stop the spread of coronavirus by downloading the COVID Alert PA mobile app.
“Thank you to the more than half-a-million Pennsylvanians who have united together to stop the spread of COVID-19 by downloading the COVID Alert PA app,” Gov. Wolf said. “The app, along with our other mitigation efforts, including mask-wearing, social distancing, hand washing and avoiding gatherings, all contribute to stopping the spread of this deadly virus. It’s time for everyone to do their part, mask up, download the app and stay safe.”
By downloading COVID Alert PA, you can get a notification if you have been in close contact with someone who later tests positive for COVID-19, or anonymously notify other residents if you yourself test positive. The app is a free and voluntary mobile app developed by the Pennsylvania Department of Health in partnership with NearForm, University of Pennsylvania and MIT Lincoln Laboratory using Apple and Google’s Exposure Notification System.
The app’s features include an interactive COVID-19 symptom check-in, alerts for potential exposures to the virus, updates on the latest public health data about COVID-19 in PA and public health guidance for what to do if you have a potential exposure to COVID-19. The free app can be found in the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store by searching for “covid alert pa.”
“If you test positive for COVID-19, we encourage you to download the app and enter the random six-digit code given to you by a case investigator,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “This will allow people you encountered who have the app to know that they have been exposed to COVID-19. They can then take important steps to protect themselves and others like getting tested or quarantining.”
The app is designed to ensure privacy of the user. It does not use GPS, location services or any movement or geographical information. It will never collect, transmit or store personal information. It is completely anonymous.
The app does collect user statistics such as the number of downloads or the symptom check-in demographics that people can voluntarily share. Since the launch on September 22, we know:
There have been 506,180 downloads onto smartphone devices.
There are an average of 37,297 COVID Check-Ins for symptoms per day.
Around 95 percent of app users reported “feeling good” during their COVID Check-In per day.
There were 268 positive cases who confirmed their positivity through the app, which generated 91 close-contact exposure alerts.
Of those who received an exposure alert, 14 requested a call-back to speak with a trained contact tracer for further support.
Download the COVID Alert PA app and make your phone part of the fight.
The Wolf Administration stresses the role Pennsylvanians play in helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19:
Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
Cover any coughs or sneezes with your elbow, not your hands.
Clean surfaces frequently.
Stay home to avoid spreading COVID-19, especially if you are unwell.
If you must go out, you are required to wear a mask when in a business or where it is difficult to maintain proper social distancing.
Download the COVID Alert PA app and make your phone part of the fight. The free app can be found in the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store by searching for “covid alert pa”.
Updated Coronavirus Links: Press Releases, State Lab Photos, Graphics
Pennsylvania is uniting against COVID. Here are the mitigation measures in place to keep people safe:
Business, Work, School, Child Care, and Congregate Settings
Child care may open, complying with guidance
Congregate care restrictions in place
Prison and hospital restrictions determined by individual facilities
Schools subject to CDC and commonwealth guidance
Telework must continue where feasible
Businesses with in-person operations must follow updated business and building safety requirements
Masks are required in businesses
All in-person businesses may operate at 75% occupancy, except where noted
Self-certified restaurants may open at 50% capacity for indoor dining
On-premises alcohol consumption prohibited unless part of a meal; cocktails-to-go and carryout beverages are allowed
Serving alcohol for on-site consumption must end at 11 p.m, and all alcoholic beverages must be removed from patrons by midnight
Personal care services (including hair salons and barbershops) open at 50% occupancy and by appointment only
Indoor recreation and health and wellness facilities (such as gyms and spas) open at 50% occupancy with appointments strongly encouraged; fitness facilities are directed to prioritize outdoor fitness activities
All entertainment (such as casinos, theaters, and shopping malls) open at 50% occupancy
Construction activity may return to full capacity with continued implementation of protocol
Gathering limits determined using maximum occupancy calculator
Masks are required to be worn indoors and outdoors if you are away from your home
The Wolf Administration supports local officials who choose to maintain additional restrictions. The following counties are under additional local guidelines: