The COVID-19 contact tracing apps 7 states are using

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From opting into tech giant's Apple and Google's system to enlisting the support of smaller developers, states are pursuing contact tracing efforts in various ways.

Here is how seven states are using COVID-19 contact tracing apps:

Alabama: In August, the state launched its contact tracing app, which uses Apple and Google's joint exposure notification system, according to State Scoop.

Massachusetts: The state reduced its $55 million contact tracing contract with Partners in Health in July after health department leaders said the system suffered from computer glitches as well as lack of communication and training that caused delayed in contacting individuals with COVID-19. Massachusetts also has a $39 million contract with Accenture and Salesforce to develop and manage the collaboration's software.

North Dakota: A Microsoft software engineer used the backbone from the app he designed to track football fans' migration to build a contact tracing app that has been deployed throughout the state.

Pennsylvania: The state's health department in September plans to deploy a new mobile app built using Apple and Google's exposure notification system. The state partnered with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Pennsylvania and app developer NearForm to develop the Covid Alert PA app.

Texas: In August, five members of the Texas legislature sued Gov. Greg Abbott over the $295 million contact-tracing deal he signed with MTX Group, a tech company in Frisco, Texas. The lawsuit alleges Mr. Abbott overstepped his authority in awarding the contract without allowing the state legislature to vet it and may not have the experience to deliver contact tracing services.

Utah: State officials in May signed a $6 million contract with developer Twenty to deploy its Healthy Together app, which serves as a contact tracer and symptom checker. However, some politicians have voiced criticism of the app because its location services feature can be disabled, which allows app users to opt in to share whether they test positive with a contact tracer.

Virginia: On Aug. 5, Virginia became the first U.S. state to launch a COVID-19 tracking app built with Google and Apple's jointly developed exposure notification system.

 

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