DC Health announced a new feature to the city’s official COVID-19 exposure notification system DC CAN, now allowing users the option to self-report their positive COVID-19 test result. This new feature increases the speed of the District’s contact tracing efforts by allowing the system to more rapidly identify positive cases and notify close contacts of their potential exposure to the virus. The self-reporting feature is immediately available for Apple iPhone users and will be available for Android users beginning January 4.
DC CAN is an exposure notification app launched in October 2020 that allows Apple and Android users who opt-in to receive an alert when they may have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. On iOS, users can opt into exposure notifications through their system settings without having to download an app. On Android, users can opt in by installing the DC CAN app from the Google Play Store. Once you opt-in, the Exposure Notifications System generates a random ID for your device. To help ensure these random IDs can’t be used to identify you or your location, they change every 10–20 minutes. Your phone and the phones around you work in the background to exchange these privacy-preserving random IDs via Bluetooth. You do not need to have the app open for this process to take place. Your phone periodically checks all the random IDs associated with positive COVID-19 cases against its own list. If there’s a match, you receive a COVID-19 exposure notification, with further instructions from DC Health on how to keep you and the people around you safe.
DC CAN protects users’ privacy and data security. The Exposure Notification System does not track the users’ location. Google, Apple, or other users cannot see the user’s identity and only public health authorities can use this system. Users can choose to share their information for public health purposes. Users’ information is not be shared with any other agencies like law enforcement or immigration.
In addition to self-reporting via DC CAN, residents are able to report their at-home test results directly to DC Health at coronavirus.dc.gov/overthecounter.