This transmission electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2—also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus that causes COVID-19—isolated from a patient in the U.S. Virus particles are shown emerging from the surface of cells cultured in the lab. The spikes on the outer edge of the virus particles give coronaviruses their name, crown-like. Image captured and colorized at NIAID's Rocky Mountain Laboratories (RML) in Hamilton, Montana. Credit: NIAID

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Department of Health is launching an app that will enable your phone to tell you in some instances if you have been exposed to COVID-19. The app called NM Notify and intended to help slow spread of the coronavirus will go live Tuesday, KRQE-TV reported.

The department says NM Notify is a voluntary program that works by exchanging anonymous keys through Bluetooth with other nearby phones that also have the exposure notification app activated.

When a person tests positive for COVID-19, they will get a text with a verification that, when activated, will let other phones nearby know of exposures. According to the department, the notifications go out only a few times a day to help ensure privacy of the infected person.

Users of Android devices can find the app in the Google store. Users of iPhones using settings to turn on exposure notifications.

The department says the NM Notify app does not collect personal or location data and that no identifying data is returned to the department or another organization.
New Mexico on Saturday reported 191 additional confirmed cases and seven more deaths, increasing the state’s pandemic totals to 189,560 cases and 3,889 deaths.

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