Almost 500,000 residents have downloaded state's MI COVID Alert app

Posted at 6:44 PM, Dec 17, 2020

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ MI Covid Alert app has been downloaded nearly 500,000 times, a news release said Thursday.

There have been 461,192 as of Thursday morning.

Officials also announced a second option for users to receive the PIN required to anonymously share a positive COVID-19 test result.

Users can now receive their PIN by calling their local health department or the state’s COVID-19 hotline at 2-1-1.

“So much about fighting COVID is hard, but this is easy: Please download MI COVID Alert on your phone,” said Robert Gordon, director of MDHHS. “It protects your privacy, and it will help protect us all. If we hit even a million downloads by January 2021, we’ll be safer until a vaccine is available to the broader population.”

An Oxford University study found that infections and deaths can be reduced even if just 15% of the population uses an exposure notification app.

About 9% of Michigan residents 18-64 have downloaded the MI COVID Alert app.

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After a positive test result is entered into the app, close contacts – people who have been within six feet for 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period – will receive an anonymous push notification letting them know they may have been exposed to COVID-19 and the number of days since the possible exposure took place.

No personally identifiable information is required or shared with other users.

With the total number of COVID-19 cases and people exposed to the virus recently, the state says some COVID-positive residents may not receive a call from their local health department right away.