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DENVER (KDVR) — The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) rolled out a new app designed to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 on Oct. 25. Gov. Jared Polis announced on Friday that more than 1 million Coloradans have enabled the COVID-19 exposure notifications statewide.

About 5.8 million people live in Colorado, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

“By signing up for exposure notifications on your phone, 1 million Coloradans are stepping up and doing their part to help limit risk to family, friends, and coworkers from the deadly COVID virus,” said Polis. “We are at a pivotal moment in this pandemic, and opting in to this service at helps keep our families and communities safe and our economy running.”  

A one-time verification code is texted directly to everyone with a confirmed, reported positive test result, according to the CDPHE.

“Since automating this process on Nov. 9, we have gone from sending an average of 20 verification codes per day, to sending over 5,000 per day,” said Sarah Tuneberg, the lead of Colorado’s Containment and Testing Team and CO Exposure Notifications. “Thanks to this quick action, Coloradans will get the information they need quickly without further overwhelming our health workers. This is a big win for Colorado!”    

CO Exposure Notifications is a free, voluntary service that alerts people who have been in proximity to someone with COVID-19 long enough to be at risk for an infection.

The technology is especially meant to help alert people who may have had a brief encounter with someone that later tests positive for COVID-19.

During contact tracing, health officials don’t always have adequate information for everyone with whom an infected person has come into contact.

The opt-in technology—which uses Bluetooth, not GPS—keeps track of those who signed up for the service without sharing data.

To sign up for the service, visit the state’s website