SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Were you exposed to the coronavirus at the grocery store, or even in your own neighborhood?

California’s new tool to report exposures has launched statewide Thursday for all smartphones, and it’s available in multiple languages.

It’s called CA Notify, and here’s how it works. If someone chooses to turn on this voluntary tool, their phones will pick up random IDs from other phones that also have it turned on.

The information exchange happens via Bluetooth, and you don’t get specific identifying information on anyone.

The tool will log the IDs of phones that were within six feet of you for more than 15 minutes. If someone tested positive for coronavirus, your phone will alert you that you had an exposure over the past 14 days.

Its effectiveness relies on people actually reporting their COVID-19 diagnosis, and keeping Bluetooth on.

If someone with CA Notify gets tested and shares their positive result with CA Notify, that’s when people who have been around them within two weeks will get an alert.

The state maintains that the tool does not collect your name, contact info, location/movements, or the identity of people you meet.

California had been working on this program since early fall and rolled it out in smaller groups before the full launch, which now includes Android users.

It’s available in 15 different languages – Arabic, Cambodian, Chinese, English, Farsi, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Pashto, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, Thai, Vietnamese and Western Armenian

Here’s how to turn it on:


iPhone users can enable CA Notify in their device’s settings.

1. Update your iOS to version 13.7 or later
2. Go into settings
3. Scroll down to Exposure Notifications
4. Turn on Exposure Notifications
5. Select United States> California


Download CA Notify from the Google Play Store starting Dec. 10.

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