BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum announced today that North Dakota will launch a new smartphone application using exposure notification technology developed by Apple and Google and made available today to public health agencies to assist with COVID-19 contact tracing. The app, named Care19 Exposure, is expected to be available within the next two weeks.
In addition to the new app, North Dakota will continue to offer its existing Care19 app, which will be rebranded as Care19 Diary. The existing app, launched for iPhone on April 7 and for Android on April 21, now has more than 33,400 users in North Dakota. Data is collected anonymously in both applications, and participation is always voluntary.
“North Dakota is excited to be among the first states in the nation to utilize the exposure notification technology built by Apple and Google to help keep our citizens safe,” Burgum said. “The Care19 Exposure app will help us improve contact tracing and continue our ND Smart Restart by notifying people who may have been exposed to COVID-19, reaching the greatest number of people in a way that protects their privacy. As we respond to this unprecedented public health emergency, we invite other states to join us in leveraging smartphone technologies to strengthen existing contact tracing efforts, which are critical to getting communities and economies back up and running.”
The Care19 Exposure app will use the Bluetooth proximity technology provided in the joint Apple/Google exposure notification solution. When an individual is identified as COVID-19 positive, they can consent to allow so they can take the appropriate actions. The existing Care19 app is a memory aid that uses GPS location data to help users who test positive for COVID-19 recall where they’ve visited in the last 14 days to assist in the contact tracing process.
The North Dakota Department of Health today confirmed 102 additional cases of COVID-19 out of 2,105 total tests conducted. With 33 newly recovered cases, the number of active cases increased to 744. The state has seen 1,302 recovered cases and 49 deaths of individuals with COVID-19, including four deaths reported today – all Cass County residents with underlying health conditions. Thirty-eight people are hospitalized, up six from the previous day.