DENVER (KDVR) — There has been a dramatic rise in the number of Coloradans using cellphones to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
New data released Thursday shows Coloradans with cellphones have signed up in droves for COVID exposure notifications, which could tell you if you need to quarantine or get tested.
Since Sunday, more than 500,000 people — roughly 9% of the state’s population — have opted in.
The notifications send users a message when they have come close to someone who tested positive for the virus.
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment epidemiologists say the system is a “game changer” and will reduce hospitalizations and save lives.
CDPHE said Thursday that new research shows if another 250,000 people sign up for the service, COVID infection rates could reduced by 8%. Fatalities could be reduced by 6%.
Epidemiologists say a large number of people have are already anonymously shared their positive status through the service.
Emma Porter has chosen to be notified.
“I think it’s interesting that we’re leveraging technology to help solve a global pandemic,” said Porter.
But there is still some reluctance due to privacy concerns.
“I’m kind of on the cusp,” said Brian McLeod, who said he is worried about private information and security.
CDPHE stresses personal information is not shared.
Eric Mata opted in, saying the service is valuable.
“You learn a lot about when you come close to a person who’s been experiencing COVID-19,” said Mata.
To sign up for the service, visit the state’s website.