Coronavirus: There’s an app for that


Good afternoon,

This morning I woke up and logged on to COVID Alert DEand reported no symptoms other than the effects of getting up early.

So far, nearly 23,000 Delawareans have signed up to do the same on the App available on Google Play and the Apple Store.

The secret sauce of the app is its ability to detect a user who has tested positive for the virus through secure technology.

The chances of detecting a positive case via the app are remote right now but could change as more people sign-on.

The app could prove valuable in more crowded and technology-driven settings such as the University of Delaware and Delaware State University campuses or some work environments.

The higher education cases, largely among people without symptoms, are contributing to an overall increase in the rate of positive cases in Delaware – from 4.5 percent a few weeks ago to 7 percent in the last report.

Delaware was not the first to roll out the app. Maryland introduced one earlier with the Delaware app is designed to work with offerings from other states

Tech companies have been working on more advanced technology that would protect privacy while adding valuable tools. Some lessons have been learned from South Korea and other countries that moved far more quickly.

What has been missing all along in the U.S. is a national response to Covid-19 that would include common metrics in assessing positive cases, as well as a nationwide smartphone app.

Instead, we have become mired in election-year politics, conflicting recommendations, an array of metrics, and an inability among many to understand that science is a process of proving and disproving findings.

Add in conspiracy theories that spread like wildfire on social media and it is no wonder that many are confused.

Using a mobile device is just one tool that shows promise, with both Apple and Google working toiron out some of the kinks.

The battle against the virus continues in all nations and with more data available, it is easier to add restrictions in specific areas when outbreaks occur without disrupting entire economies.

Another promising tool is monitoring wastewater for signs of Covid-19.

New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer was quick to adopt the technology, which now has the blessing of theCenters for Disease Control and Prevention.

An area of emphasis for poop testing is university campuses. Here and elsewhere, we are seeing a growing number of cases and no common testing procedure that would allow comparisons.

For now, the best we can do is used the available tools and hope others will do the same. COVID Alert DE is a good start.

Meanwhile, wear your mask in the workplace and in public when applicable.A substantial body of evidencepoints to its effectiveness. in other words, it’s a no-brainer. –Doug Rainey, chief content officer.

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