BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Nearly one million Marylanders have already opted in to receive COVID-19 notifications and contact tracing updates.

While some people are worried about the new technology tracking them, the Maryland Department of Health told WJZ this software doesn’t collect any data unless you report it.

“If there is close contact and you’re within six feet of someone for at least 15 minutes, this is a way the exposure can get logged, even if you don’t know who that person is,” Katherine Feldman, Director of Contact Tracing for the Maryland Department of Health, said.

You’ll get an alert on your phone saying you’ve been exposed, and it will give you the date but not the location or the information of the person infected.

“We are not collecting personal information, we are not tracking location, so we don’t have that data,” Feldman said. “Nothing to share. The whole point is to have another tool to help stop the spread.”

CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE:

Resident Anthony Martinez said he just got a new phone and opted in, turning notifications on when he set up his new iPhone.

“It asked me if I wanted to have COVID updates and I set it up,” he said. “I have to be safe with this pandemic going on.”

He said he has yet to get a notification, which means he hasn’t been in contact with anyone who has reported a positive test.

The Department of Health ensures people this is not a way to track you or collect your information, it’s simply a way to help contact tracers do their job and help save more people from becoming infected.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Rachael Cardin

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