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AlohaSafe Alert app now allows users to self-report, positive home COVID-19 test results

Creators of the AlohaSafe Alert app, the state’s official COVID-19 exposure notification service, said it has now been updated so that users can self-report a positive, at-home test result.

The free app was downloadable for free from Apple or Google Play when it was launched statewide in January 2021 through a public-private partnership between the Hawaii Department of Health, aio Digital, and the Hawaii Executive Collaborative.

The app is no longer available from the Apple App Store to download, but is instead already a built-in exposure notification feature in iPhone settings that will need to be turned on. It is still available at Google Play.

It uses Bluetooth technology to anonymously alert users if they have been exposed to the coronavirus.

AlohaSafe Alert said although PCR laboratory testing remains the gold standard, this reflects the reality that many people are now taking home tests.

“This new feature aims to decrease the time elapsed between a positive test result and exposure notifications being distributed, allowing people to anonymously notify others that they may have been exposed to COVID-19,” said AlohaSafe Alert in a news release. “The self-report feature was piloted in Colorado and has been successful in multiple other states.”

Since its launch, there have been over 1.6 million activations of the app and 10,330 codes claimed by people who tested positive for COVID-19.

Hawaii, along with 26 other states and the District of Columbia, has deployed the exposure notification technology.

The app will also be transitioning to AlohaSafe Alert Express, which utilizes the built-in exposure notification features on both Apple and Android devices. Those with Android phones do not have to update their app to use these features, but iPhone users will need to turn on “exposure notifications” to access them.

Visit alohasafealert.org for more information.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly said the app was available for download. It is no longer available.
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