New York, New Jersey exposure notification apps tap Apple-Google API

in General Discussion
New York and New Jersey on Thursday announced the launch of new COVID-19 apps based on the Apple and Google Exposure Notification framework.

Credit: Unsplash
Credit: Unsplash

The apps, COVID Alert NY and COVID Alert NJ, will notify users if they come into close proximity to another person who has been diagnosed with coronavirus.

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy made the announcement on Thursday. In a press release, Gov. Cuomo's office also noted that the apps are interoperable with similar exposure notification titles recently released in Pennsylvania and Delaware, meaning the apps provide patchwork coverage across state lines.

With integrated apps, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware were able to create a regional COVID Alert network similar to one in development on the West Coast. The state of Connecticut has also announced that it will launch a similar exposure notification system "in the coming weeks."

"Testing is to identify a person, so you can isolate and quarantine that person and then find the connections from that person, and that's contact tracing. We have about 15,000 people statewide who do contact tracing, they call them disease detectives. But we've been looking for a technology-based solution," Gov. Cuomo said.

Like other systems based on the Apple-Google API, the New York and New Jersey apps are private and rely on Bluetooth identifiers that are stored on-device. No location data or personal information is collected, and nothing is stored on a centralized server.

The apps were developed by Irish-based software company NearForm, which is also responsible for Ireland's COVID-19 exposure notification app.

As of this writing, 11 out 50 U.S. states have some form of COVID-19 exposure notification app based on the Apple-Google API. At least seven others have signaled that exposure notification apps for their states are in development.


  • Reply 1 of 3
    Finally, been been waiting for this.
  • Reply 2 of 3
    I am not rewatching over 100 briefings to find the link, but I remember Gov Murphy saying that they were not even looking into electronic notifications as it was not real contact tracing.  My how times have changed.

    Edit:  I found a news article that told me the day he said it.  Here it is, starting at 8:30 on

    "Other consumer facing smart phone apps are not contact tracing tools.  They are what's know as a non-coding exposure notification or digital alerting tools.  A way for the public to track if they have come into contact with a person who has tested positive and also enter that information into their own phone.  The State of New Jersey is neither pursuing nor promoting exposure notifications or digital alerting technology.  At least at this time."
    edited October 2020 GeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 3
    “Patchwork coverage” is the correct term.

    Why there is no global compatibility built in is beyond me. Luckily some European apps (Germany, Denmark,...) will get compatibility to each other soon. It’s a start. 
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