MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Gov. Tim Walz is expected to announce new technology Monday afternoon to help curb the spread of COVID-19 in Minnesota.
The virus has been surging in Minnesota over the last few weeks. Over the weekend, health officials counted 13,484 new cases, bringing the state’s total positive test tally to above 270,000 since the outbreak began. Officials also confirmed 91 deaths in the last 48 hours, raising the state’s death toll to 3,241. Meanwhile, hospitalizations are at the highest they’ve been since March, with the number of available ICU beds shrinking.
Details on Monday’s announcement remain unclear, other than that it will involve state health and technology officials. The announcement is slated for 12:30 p.m.
Perhaps coincidentally, the state released a new COVID-19 tracing app overnight. The app, named COVIDaware MN, is an exposure notification app that works by relaying phone numbers associated with COVID-19 cases.
Users can download the app, activate it, and it’ll monitor the space between users. When someone tests positive for COVID-19, users will be able to use the app’s data to determine if they are at risk.
No personal information is collected on the app. COVIDaware uses the amount of time users have been around someone who tests positive and the strength of the Bluetooth signal to determine is the exposure is a risk.