Through a collaboration with Apple, Google and Microsoft, APHL is helping to bring COVID-19 exposure notifications to the public health community. This effort supports the novel coronavirus response by enabling state and territorial public health agencies to provide COVID-19 exposure notifications to residents who wish to receive them.
How Exposure Notification Works
An important way to combat the spread of an infectious disease like COVID-19 is through contact tracing. Public health officials contact, test, treat and advise people who may have been exposed to an affected person to break the chain of disease transmission. Exposure notifications augment that work by using privacy-preserving digital technology to tell someone they may have been exposed to the virus as quickly as possible.
How APHL Supports Exposure Notification
By participating in Apple and Google's Exposure Notifications System (ENS), APHL helps deliver this groundbreaking technology to public health agencies. An essential element of exposure notifications is a unified digital language for communication, known as exposure notification keys. Rather than each state and territorial public health agency bearing the burden of building and hosting its own key server, a national key server, hosted by APHL on the Microsoft Azure Cloud, securely hosts the keys of those affected users. This enables exposure notifications across the US by assuring that users can find out when they may have been exposed by users from other states.
To reduce the effort needed by public health agencies to bring exposure notifications to their jurisdiction, APHL has also made available a multi-tenant verification server running on Google Cloud. As a part of ENS, a verification server is necessary to ensure a user has received a positive test result before uploading their temporary exposure keys to the national key server. Rather than each public health agency standing up its own verification server and deciding on a verification approach, providing one verification server reduces the time and complexity to deploy ENS.
Learn more about how exposure notification technology works and its privacy protections.
States with Apps on the National Key Server
- California (Pilot)
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
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