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Friday, December 4, 2020
Spying on You: Victorino announces AlohaSafe Alert app rollout for Maui County
By News Release @ 8:10 PM :: 3401 Views :: Maui County, Law Enforcement, COVID-19

AlohaSafe app officially launches for use in Maui County

News Release from County of Maui, December 17, 2020

The AlohaSafe Alert app officially launches today in Maui County, the first County in the State of Hawaii to have this resource available to curb the spread of COVID-19.

“This free exposure notification app has already undergone successful pilot testing on Lanai and in Hana, and we are pleased to have it expanded to everyone in Maui County to increase detection of the virus and slow the spread of the disease,” Mayor Michael Victorino said. “The AlohaSafe app helps people know that they might have been exposed to the virus and should consider getting tested as soon as possible. This is especially important now as our community awaits the broad distribution of the vaccine against the virus.”

Pilot testing of the app on Lanai and in Hana began Nov. 11. So far, there have been more than 7,000 downloads of the app.

The Hawai`i State Department of Health, aio Foundation, the Hawai‘i Executive Collaborative and others partnered to create this app as a tool to fight COVID-19.

“We’re thankful for the partnership and support from Mayor Victorino and Maui County leaders because adoption of the app by residents will be key to maximizing the potential of AlohaSafe Alert,” said Lynelle Marble, executive director of Hawai‘i Executive Collaborative, the nonprofit organization helping to lead the rollout of the app to communities across the state. “Based on studies from the University of Oxford, for every two app users, one infection can be avoided. Our hope is that our residents will take the opportunity to use AlohaSafe Alert as an additional layer of safety to help mitigate the spread of the virus.”

The application is free and can be downloaded now from the Apple Store or Google Play. It is part of a nationwide effort by public health authorities and leading technology firms to assist in curbing the spread of COVID-19. The voluntary app protects the privacy of individuals – no personal data ever leaves the phone – unless the owner chooses to share the information with the Department of Health. User identities are protected.

Mayor Victorino said Maui County has been pushing for technological advances such as this for the protection of our residents and visitors.

“We urge people to download this app, because widespread use of this technology by residents and visitors alike would make it most effective in our fight against this disease,” Mayor Victorino said. “AlohaSafe Alert is a powerful example of our community coming together so that Maui County and our state can move toward a healthier future.”

There are 17 States and the District of Columbia that are participating in the Google Apple Exposure Notification (“GAEN”) system. California, Oregon and Washington recently launched their official exposure notification apps. The AlohaSafe Alert app is able to communicate with any app on the GAEN system, which is vitally important in highly traveled areas, such as Maui County.

After the app is downloaded, the smartphone uses Bluetooth technology to anonymously communicate with other phones that also have a GAEN application. Devices will automatically “ping” each other, measuring the strength of the Bluetooth signal and the duration of a contact.

If a person becomes infected with COVID-19, the Department of Health sends a code for inputting in the app that will automatically send anonymous notifications to others who may have been exposed.

Location and identifiable information is not used or collected for privacy reasons.

To trigger a notification alert, devices must have been within 6 feet of each other for at least 15 minutes in the past 14 days.

The app is compatible with Android and iPhones. Android phones should be Version 6 or above. iPhones should have iOS 13.7 or greater.

For more information, visit www.alohasafealert.org or contact the State Department of Health at doh.alohasafe@doh.hawaii.gov.

KHON: AlohaSafe app officially launches for use in Maui County

  *   *   *   *   *

Mayor Victorino announces AlohaSafe Alert app rollout for Maui County

News Release from County of Maui, Dec 4, 2020

Mayor Michael Victorino announced today that the AlohaSafe Alert application that has undergone pilot testing on Lanai and Hana has been approved for full rollout in Maui County, making Maui County the first County in the State to utilize this resource to assist in curbing the spread of COVID-19.  

According to the Hawai‘i Executive Collaborative, the lead partner, the target launch date is mid-December, and more information will follow in the coming days.  

The application is free and can be downloaded now from the Apple Store or Google Play. It is part of a nationwide effort by public health authorities and leading technology firms to assist in curbing the spread of COVID-19. 

Lanai and Hana residents have been participating in a pilot project to test the AlohaSafe Alert app, which is the State of Hawaii’s official exposure notification app, and was developed through a public-private partnership with aio Digital and Hawai‘i Executive Collaborative.

“We’re privileged to work with Maui County and the Department of Health to help engage Maui’s residents to utilize AlohaSafe Alert,” said Lynelle Marble, executive director of the Hawai‘i Executive Collaborative. “By downloading the app, people in Maui County are adding an additional layer of safety that will help to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”

“Maui County has been at the forefront of pushing these advances for the benefit of our community. Widespread use of this technology by our residents and visitors alike will make it most effective in our battle against this disease,” Mayor Victorino said. “The AlohaSafe Alert app will quickly notify users that they may have been exposed to the virus. The app is meant to complement and expedite the ongoing work of contact tracers.”

There are currently 14 States and the District of Columbia that are participating in the Google Apple Exposure Notification (“GAEN”) system.   California, Oregon and Washington are also tentatively set to roll out their State’s official exposure notification app by mid-December 2020. The AlohaSafe Alert app is able to communicate with any app on the GAEN system, which is vitally important in highly traveled areas, such as Maui County.

“As public health officials’ resources shift from contact tracing to vaccination plans, CARES Act funds come to a close, and as viral activity picks up around the nation, it is critical now more than ever that our community is protected through these technological advances,” Mayor Victorino said.

After the app is downloaded, the smartphone uses Bluetooth technology to anonymously communicate with other phones that also have a GAEN application. Devices will automatically “ping” each other, measuring the strength of the Bluetooth signal and the duration of a contact.

Location and identifiable information is not used or collected for privacy reasons. If an individual tests positive for COVID-19, they will be contacted by a contact tracer who will ask if the person had downloaded the AlohaSafe app. If so, the person will receive a verification code that will enable an anonymous notification to others that they might have been exposed to the virus.

To trigger a notification alert, devices must have been within 6 feet of each other for at least 15 minutes in the past 14 days.

The app is compatible with Android and iPhones. Android phones should be Version 6 or above. iPhones should have iOS 13.7 or greater.

For more information, visit www.alohasafealert.org or contact the State Department of Health at doh.alohasafe@doh.hawaii.gov.

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