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Would You Use a Contact Tracing App?

A smartphone showing notes made for contact tracing Wednesday, April 15, 2020.

Photo by Steven Senne / AP

Above: A smartphone showing notes made for contact tracing Wednesday, April 15, 2020.

KPBS is working on a story about contact tracing, which means finding and quarantining everyone who has been in contact with someone who’s tested positive for COVID-19 to stop the spread. Many states are rolling out contact tracing programs, and California is currently in the process of hiring thousands of people to work as contract tracers.

One of the ways to keep track of people would be smartphone apps. The apps keep track of who you've been in contact with over the last three weeks and can alert those people if you test positive for COVID-19.

We would like to know whether San Diegans would be willing to use such an app that would allow the government to track their movement and alert people they had contacted. Here are our questions:

  1. Would you install an app on your phone that's run by the government and tracks who you've come in contact with?
  2. Would you be OK with it tracking your location?
  3. What if you tested positive for COVID-19, would you be OK with the app sending alerts to people you had contact with?
  4. Any other thoughts or concerns you have?


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