NJ officials say they're not ready to release COVID-19 contact tracing app yet

By KYW Newsradio 1060

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — New Jersey isn’t quite ready to launch a coronavirus contract tracing app, as Pennsylvania and Delaware have.

Similar to apps in Pennsylvania and Delaware, it uses Bluetooth technology to detect other users nearby.

“The app can alert users if they have been potentially been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and provide information on what to do next,” said state Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli.  “You may not even know that you’ve been exposed, but the app will tell you.”

The app uses Bluetooth technology to communicate with other users with the app nearby. Persichilli said no location or personal data are collected.

Officials said 130 people are taking part in a pilot program to test the app.

The pilot involves state employees as well testers at Stockton University, Montclair State University and Passaic County Community College.

Persichilli said the pilot ends this week and that reviews of the app have been good so far, with 4.6 stars out of five.

She said her department will address issues with the app developer before a statewide rollout is announced.

At the governor’s regular coronavirus briefing, Persichilli said the state is also watching a growing number of COVID-19 cases in Gloucester County.

“We’re keeping a close eye on Gloucester,” she said. “Their percent positivity over time is above the statewide average.”

Rowan University has reported a total of 363 cases, more than half at off-campus locations.​