Ingham County Health Officer Discusses New Contact Tracing Technology

Ingham County Health Officer Discusses New Contact Tracing Technology

INGHAM COUNTY - Michigan State University might be the first campus in Michigan to pilot a new contact tracing system that would help alert students and staff if they have encountered someone with COVID-19.

Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail called it an exposure notification system at the Tuesday, August 11 media briefing. She said that Google has been in the process of developing an app that will connect to phones that enable COVID-19 tracking.

The app will store user data based on people the user has been in close proximity with for a prolonged period of time. If the user tests positive with COVID-19, they will receive a key from the Ingham County Health Department that will allow them to put that information into the app and alert people via a notification that they may have been exposed to the virus.

This app would allow for technological contact tracing by both Apple and Android users.

A college setting is ideal for this kind of technology because of the large number of people that will be confined to one specific, general area. In addition, the highest demographic of people with the coronavirus in Michigan are people in their 20’s. Because of this, the companies in development with this app are looking into Michigan State University.

“The university is interested. We are moving forward with additional conversations,” said Vail.

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