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Teton County to use app for contact tracing

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JACKSON, Wyo. (KIFI/KIDK)-The Teton County, Wyoming Health Department has announced plans to use a telephone mobile app to help it track and trace COVID-19 cases. 

PathCheck SafePlaces is an app created by Path Check, Inc. The uses technology to help race contacts, reduce memory errors, and notify possible contacts much more efficiently.

Residents and visitors can download the app at no cost from the Apple Store and Google Play Store.

The company has committed to preserve the privacy of users.

“Contact tracing is a critical piece to identifying those who may have been exposed so that the Health department can quarantine them so that we can stop the spread of COIVD-19 in Teton County,” said County Health Director Jodie Pond. “Contact tracing has been used for years by public health to combat infectious disease, which is one of the most important steps to containing an outbreak.”

The app works by maintaining a time-stamped GPS log of a person’s location in 5-minute increments. The log is kept on a person’s phone for 14 days.  The data will leave the device only if the user chooses to send the information to the health department during a contact tracing process.

It can also notify users if they come within 30 feet of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 within a certain time frame.

“The app doesn’t ask for your name or e-mail and location history is only saved on your phone, not on some kind of third-party server,” said DC Shipps of Path Check Inc.  He added, “and if you’ve become diagnosed, it’s your choice if you want to share your location history with the Teton County Health Department.”

You can find more information on the Teton County Health Department website.

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