You may have noticed a notification on your iPhone or Android device, alerting you that “COVID-19 Exposure Notifications are Available.”

The Maryland Department of Health has launched this new initiative, MD COVID Alert, to track potential exposure using individual’s Bluetooth locations.

Each phone receives a random ID number that changes every 10-20 minutes. It looks to identify phones that are six feet apart, for an average exposure of over 15 minutes. If someone with those conditions tests positive or is exposed to COVID-19, it will alert you.

Privacy is a big issue here. MDH has clarified that no data is stored, you are not being tracked, and you remain anonymous in the system. You do not see other users data. 

To opt-in on iPhone, take a look at this video. Go to Settings > Exposure Notifications > Turn on Exposure Notifications > Select your country > Select your state or region > Read and agree to turn on notifications > Click DONE and ensure your notifications says it is “Active.”