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Stories, Stats, Impacts: Wyoming Public Media is here to keep you current on the news surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.

Contact Tracing Smartphone App Could Assist Public Health Officials

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Contact tracing is one of the most difficult aspects of fighting COVID-19, but a new state-backed app could assist Wyoming officials in that effort.

The Care19 Diary app has been used in both North and South Dakota to help public health officials map the spread of the coronavirus.

The app is now available for Wyoming residents as well.

"We view this as an additional tool that is available to citizens who choose to participate," said Michael Pearlman, a spokesperson for Gov. Mark Gordon. "We recognize that not everyone will want to download the app, but this app provides our contact tracing teams an additional resource to bolster their efforts."

Care19 tracks where you've been for the past 14 days. Should you test positive for COVID-19, you would have the option of sharing that information with the Wyoming Department of Health.

Governor Mark Gordon touted the new app during a press conference last week.

"The data is anonymous, it's completely voluntary," Gordon said. "And it is now available."

Data collected by the app is stored on a server, but not identified with the individual app user, rather a random ID number. No other personal information is collected.

"The user can choose to share the data with the state if they get sick," Pearlman said. "Or they can use it as a reminder about locations they've visited if they get a call from a contact tracer."

Have a question about this story? Contact the reporter, Jeff Victor, at jvictor@uwyo.edu.

Jeff is a part-time reporter for Wyoming Public Media, as well as the owner and editor of the Laramie Reporter, a free online news source providing in-depth and investigative coverage of local events and trends.
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