It may feel like ‘too little, too late’, but the Department of Health has officially launched a local COVID-19 contact tracing app available to download right now. It’s called the COVID-19 Alert SA app, and it’s a free exposure notification app free to download on both Android and iOS devices.
“By downloading and using the COVID Alert SA app, you become a part of a powerful digital network of app users who choose to work together for the benefit of everyone in the app community while all enjoying complete privacy and anonymity. App users understand their exposure to COVID-19 and help others to do the same. We can all work together to curb the spread of COVID-19 and, ultimately, to save lives,” the DoH website details the plan for the app.
Early on, when the pandemic just started to hit hard, big tech corps decided to look into contact tracing. It’s the ideal situation where every person already carries a tracker in the form of a smartphone. By downloading the app on a smartphone, it’ll use nearby networks and Bluetooth to track whether you’ve been in close contact with a positive case of COVID-19.
The COVID Alert SA app will alert people when they have been in close contact with a person who has tested positive for the virus.
The app was built using Apple and Google’s exposure notification platform and it doesn’t collect or distribute personal information. According to the website, the app collects information completely anonymously. “COVID Alert SA is entirely anonymous. The app protects your privacy and security at all times. It does not need or store any of your personal information,” it reads.
You can download the COVID Alert SA app from the Google Play Store or the iOS App Store right now. It is quite a useful resource with regards to news, important information, a risk-assessment tool of course, and COVID-19 test results.