UC San Diego launches smartphone-based COVID-19 exposure notification system

Elizabeth Meckert breathed a small sigh of relief when her son, Andrew, a freshman at UC San Diego, set up his iPhone to let him know if he comes in contact with someone who later tests positive for COVID-19.

This digital heads-up is made possible with smartphone-based exposure notifications. California recently gave UC San Diego the go-ahead to test the technology, and the La Jolla university launched its pilot program on Thursday. Students like Andrew were quick to try it.

“It makes me feel better to know that he’ll know right away if someone he’s come in contact with tests positive. It’s a little insurance policy,” said Elizabeth Meckert. She traveled to the campus from Lake Oswego, Ore., to help her son move into his dorm. “It’s scary enough sending your freshman away to college this far away, but with COVID, it makes it even scarier.”

University officials hope the

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