Methuen piloting COVID-19 tracing through smartphones

Breanna Edelstein, The Eagle-Tribune, North Andover, Mass.
·1 min read

Apr. 13—METHUEN — Methuen is one of two communities in Massachusetts working with state public health officials on MassNotify, a new tool intended to help stop the spread of COVID-19 with smartphone notifications.

According to city officials, the program sends "exposure alerts" to anyone in close contact with someone who anonymously shared with MassNotify that they tested positive for the virus.

The cities of Methuen and Somerville are piloting the program before statewide use.

A statement from Methuen City Hall explains participants can enable MassNotify on iPhone or Android. The application shares anonymous Bluetooth codes with other phones nearby. The codes do not contain personal information or location data, the statement explains.

Anyone who tests positive can choose to anonymously alert others. If you've been near someone who tests positive, and they share their results with MassNotify, a private exposure alert will show up on your phone.

The alert will also send information about quarantine and getting tested.

"Along with wearing masks, keeping a safe distance, and answering the phone if contact tracers call, MassNotify is another way to keep ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities safe from the spread of COVID-19," Methuen officials said in the statement.

Visit mass.gov/massnotify to learn more.

On iPhone:

Go to Settings

Scroll down to Exposure Notifications

Click "Turn on Exposure Notifications"

Select United States

Select Massachusetts

On Android:

Go to the Google Play store

Download the MassNotify app