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New York and New Jersey joined a handful of other states in launching contact tracing apps for COVID-19.



a woman holding a cell phone: People with masks walking while looking at their phones.


© Provided by Live Science
People with masks walking while looking at their phones.

On Thursday (Oct. 1), the two states each launched their own contact tracing apps called “COVID Alert NY” and “COVID Alert NJ,” respectively. These apps, which keep users’ identities anonymous, are based on a new technology developed by Google and Apple. They use bluetooth to connect to nearby phones and alert users if they’ve been in close contact with someone who has been infected with the coronavirus. 

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From the very start of the pandemic, contact tracing has been an important part of helping to stop the spread of the virus. Contact tracing involves identifying people with COVID-19, figuring out who they came in close contact with, and notifying all of those people so that they can

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