7 recently launched contact tracing efforts

Contact tracing is an important tool public health leaders and government officials use to understand how COVID-19 is spreading across the country, even though many of these efforts have experienced significant challenges when it comes to issues such as data privacy, interoperability and accuracy.

Here are seven contact tracing efforts launched recently:

  1. After discovering only 200 users started sharing their location data with its $6 million COVID-19 contact tracing app in July, the Utah health department shut down its location tracking feature and pivoted its strategy. The app now focuses on functions such as relaying COVID-19 test results and digital symptom checks at schools and workplaces.
  2. University of California, San Francisco scientists launched Covidseeker, a new study examining the spread of COVID-19 using people’s self-donated Google location data. Anyone with a Google account can download their location data and donate it to the effort so they can better determine where people were most likely to have contracted COVID-19.
  3. Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic launched an online COVID-19 tracking tool examining data for every county in all 50 states as an interactive map. The map includes data such as cases by county and state, new cases per day, positive test rate and fatality rate. It also tracks trends over time and provides guidance on appropriate action to take.
  4. Oregon and Washington joined California’s pilot project of Google and Apple’s jointly developed COVID-19 exposure notification system, which aims to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by confidentially notifying individuals who may have been exposed to someone who tested positive for the virus.
  5. Pennsylvania released an app to let users know if they’ve been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19. The app, which uses Google and Apple’s jointly developed COVID-19 exposure notification system, does not enable phones’ location services.
  6. New York launched its new COVID-19 contact tracing app. Built on Apple and Google’s joint system, New York is the biggest state to release an app based on the tech giants’ COVID-19 exposure notification framework.
  7. Local newspapers and news outlets in California formed a partnership to gather COVID-19 data and report on the virus spread outside of the state health department’s efforts. 

Morea articles on data analytics:
Illinois kept details on nearly 2,600 COVID-19 outbreaks confidential
Florida COVID-19 reporting stalled after lab submits 400,000 test results in 1 day: 3 details
Data error inflated COVID-19 cases in Missouri, state says: 4 details


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