SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - The Louisiana Department of Health is hoping to further curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic from smartphones across the state.
LDH created COVID Defense, an app which is supposed to notify users if they’ve possibly been exposed to COVID-19 - without compromising personal information.
The app, which is free to download and uses no personal information, requires Bluetooth to “exchange random tokens between phones without revealing a user’s identity or location.”
These tokens change every 10 to 20 minutes, so they can’t be used to identify someone or reveal their location.
Each day, phones with COVID Defense will download a list of tokens from across the state associated with COVID positive cases. The app then cross-references these ‘positive’ tokens with tokens it comes into contact with over 14 days.
If COVID Defense finds a match with a positive token, the user is notified and instructed on the next steps to follow.
“Louisiana’s free, easy-to-use phone app will give our residents the information they need to fight COVID-19 and protect their loved ones without compromising anyone’s privacy,” said Dr. Courtney Phillips, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health. ”Like wearing a mask, washing our hands and social distancing, COVID defense is one more measure we can all take.”
COVID Defense can be downloaded in the Apple App Store or through the Google Play Store.
Aside from notifying users about potential exposures, COVID Defense also allows users to keep a daily log of symptoms associated with the virus and request help from emergency services.