California, Oregon, and Washington have announced that they are participating in tests of Apple and Google's Exposure Notifications Express program. ENE integrates a set of contact-logging Bluetooth APIs that were deployed in public health apps earlier this year into a streamlined distribution flow for all Android and iOS phones while minimizing time and monetary costs for the states.
In California, students and staff at University of California campuses in San Diego and San Francisco will be notified when the APIs are available and are encouraged but not required to install them.
The Oregonian is reporting that the state will likely seed ENE to as many as 30,000 college students this fall, but that will depend on how talks go between the state health authority and schools. If testing is deemed a success, Express is targeted to be deployed widely in December or early next year.
We've contacted the Washington Department of Public Health for their plans with Exposure Notifications Express and will update this story if and when we hear back.
Apple and Google went public with ENE this month in an effort to bolster states' adoption of their contact-logging APIs while removing the technical and financial barriers to develop a dedicated app.
How Exposure Notifications Express will appear to Android users
For ENE, public health agencies send a configuration file that includes risk model data to Apple and Google who are able to quickly turn around an API package for end users to install voluntarily. If the APIs are installed, Bluetooth is then used to anonymously record contact with other devices with the APIs turned on. When a user reports a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, they may opt to share their contact log against which other devices can check to determine if other close-by users should take action. No user-identifiable data is stored, transmitted, or can be gleaned in the process.
The three states along with Colorado and Nevada signed onto the Western States Pact earlier this year which was created in order to share best practices in responding to the novel coronavirus. The latter two states have already committed to deploying ENE.