Member Updates & Information

Understanding Contact Tracing

Contact tracing helps slow the spread of COVID-19, which benefits you and your loved ones as well as our whole community. It is used by public health authorities to identify and give guidance to anyone who may have been exposed to someone who has contracted COVID-19.

According to the CDC, contact tracing slows the spread of COVID-19 by:

  • Letting people know they may have been exposed to COVID-19 and should monitor their health for signs and symptoms
  • Helping people get tested
  • Asking people who are unvaccinated to self-isolate if they have tested positive for COVID-19 or self-quarantine if they have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19

Exposure Notification Tools

Out of a shared sense of responsibility to help fight this pandemic, Google and Apple jointly created the Exposure Notifications System. Public health authorities worldwide are deploying apps that use the system to help their contact tracing efforts.

In the U.S., there is no national app for contact tracing. It is up to each state and individual to decide which tools best fit their needs.

Regional resources currently available to you include:

Keep in mind, privacy and security are central to the design of these apps:

  • You control whether you receive Exposure Notifications—you must opt-in.
  • The Exposure Notifications System doesn’t track your location.
  • Neither Google, Apple, nor other users can see your identity.
  • Only public health authorities can use this system—they must meet specific criteria around privacy, security and data use.