UPDATED 12:30 PM PT — Sunday, April 26, 2020
Australia’s federal government has released a contact tracing app to help keep tabs on positive coronavirus cases. The COVIDSafe app was launched Sunday in an effort to slow the spread of the virus in the country.
The #COVIDSafe app helps slow the spread of #COVID19. Having confidence we can find & contain outbreaks quickly means govts can ease restrictions while still keeping Australians safe. Downloading the app helps protect you, your family & friends. More info: https://t.co/ePN7dURoyH pic.twitter.com/3mjcUipthX
— Australian Government Department of Health (@healthgovau) April 26, 2020
This comes as the country has begun relaxing social distancing guidelines to allow people to get exercise at beaches.
Users will be able to see if they recently came into contact with someone who tested positive for the virus. According to officials, the app could help prevent another spike in cases.
“What we need to do is to ensure that there is tracing, and that tracing is about helping to find the cases in the community,” stated Health Minister Greg Hunt. “Public health officials have been doing that manually and today we’re expanding that capacity with the COVIDSafe app.”
Some citizens have privacy concerns about the app and are worried it may use their information for something other than flattening the curve. However, the app is voluntary and Australians are not required to download it.