Meanwhile, a team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that made a contact-tracing app for public agencies is now is offering to help them take advantage of the new Apple-Google alert system.
The initial tracing effort by Apple and Google, which they introduced in April, required users to install an app provided by government health departments. The system used Bluetooth technology to signal when a phone user was near someone who had been confirmed to be infected, without revealing their identity.
Six US states and a number of foreign countries have adopted the system, but the download requirement made it less likely that the public would willingly use it.
The new approach simplifies the process by building the alert into Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android software operating systems. Users get on-screen messages telling them how to activate the feature, but only if they live in a state that’s running an