The Australian Government has launched the COVIDSafe app to speed up the way in which they contact people exposed to coronavirus (COVID-19).
The COVIDSafe app has been designed to help slow the spread of COVID-19. If enough people in Australia download the app, the Government will have confidence to find and contain outbreaks quickly, meaning governments can ease restrictions while still keeping Australians safe.
The new COVIDSafe app is completely voluntary. Downloading the app is YOUR CHOICE and something you can choose to do to protect you, your family, your friends and work colleagues and in turn help save the lives of other Australians.
The more Australians connect to the COVIDSafe app, the quicker they can find the virus.
What COVIDSafe is for?
The COVIDSafe app helps find close contacts of COVID-19 cases, helping state and territory health officials to quickly contact people who may have been exposed to COVID-19.
The COVIDSafe app speeds up the current manual process of finding people who have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19. This means you’ll be contacted more quickly if you are at risk. This reduces the chances of you passing on the virus to your family, friends and other people in the community.
State and territory health officials can only access app information if someone tests positive and agrees to the information in their phone being uploaded. The health officials can only use the app information to help alert those who may need to quarantine or get tested.
The COVIDSafe app is the only contact trace app approved by the Australian Government.
How COVIDSafe works
When you download the app you provide:
- your name
- mobile number
- your age range
You will receive a confirmation SMS text message to complete installation. The system then creates a unique encrypted reference code just for you.
COVIDSafe recognises other devices with the COVIDSafe app installed and Bluetooth enabled. When the app recognises another user, it notes the date, time, distance and duration of the contact and the other user’s reference code. The COVIDSafe app does not collect your location.
Using the app
To be effective, you should have the COVIDSafe app running as you go about your daily business and come into contact with people. Users will receive daily notifications to ensure the COVIDSafe app is running.
The information is encrypted and that encrypted identifier is stored securely on your phone. Not even you can access it. The contact information stored in people’s mobiles is deleted on a 21-day rolling cycle. This period takes into account the COVID-19 incubation period and the time it takes to get tested.
What happens when an app user tests positive for COVID-19?
When someone is diagnosed with COVID-19, state and territory health officials will ask them or their parent/guardian who they have been in contact with. If they have the COVIDSafe app and provide their permission, the encrypted contact information from the app will be uploaded to a highly secure information storage system.
State and territory health officials will then:
- use the contacts captured by the app to support their usual contact tracing.
- call people to let them or their parent/guardian know they may have been exposed.
- offer advice on next steps, including what to look out for when, how and where to get tested, what to do to protect friends and family from exposure.
Health officials will not name the person who was infected.
After the pandemic
At the end of the Australian COVID-19 pandemic, users will be prompted to delete the COVIDSafe app from their phone. This will delete all app information on a person’s phone. The information contained in the information storage system will also be destroyed at the end of the pandemic.
Deleting the COVIDSafe app
You can delete the COVIDSafe app from your phone at any time. This will delete all COVIDSafe app information from your phone. The information in the secure information storage system will not be deleted immediately. It will be destroyed at the end of the pandemic.
Your information and privacy is strictly protected.
You can download the app for free from the App Store or Google Play.
For more information and all enquiries please visit the Department of Health website.
At Play & Go Adelaide we make every effort to provide accurate information to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication. We recommend confirming times, dates and details directly before making any plans as details may be subject to change.
Image Source: The COVIDSafe app
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