DC CAN is the official COVID-19 exposure-notifications software for the District of Columbia in partnership with the Department of Health (DC Health). The app is an instance of Exposure Notifications Express platform developed by Apple and Google and configured by DC Health.
Your personal use of DC CAN will help anonymously alert DC residents who may have been near someone with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis. When you enable DC CAN, you are doing your part to efficiently and effectively help your community slow the spread of COVID-19.
How DC CAN Works:
When devices with DC CAN are in close contact, they exchange random identifiers using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). When someone tells their app that they tested positive for COVID-19, whoever received their random identifiers may receive an alert that they may have possibly been exposed to COVID-19. When a device receives random identifiers it date-stamps them and records their signal strength so that the Exposure Notification system can estimate how close the two devices were to each other and for how long. If the timeframe was at least 15 minutes and the estimated distance was within six feet, then the other user receives a notification of a possible exposure.
Apple and Google's Exposure Notifications framework runs in the background, even when the DC CAN app is closed. It will not drain the device battery at a rate that would occur with other apps that use normal Bluetooth and/or are open and running constantly.
How DC CAN Protects Your Privacy:
DC Health takes your privacy and confidentiality very seriously. Apple and Google's framework is designed to avoid correlating any personal data and location information with the random identifiers that devices exchange. DC Health does not want or need to know where or who you are for DC CAN to work. If you are close enough to another app user, your device's BLE will exchange random identifiers with that user.
Laboratory results for all persons who test positive for COVID-19 are sent to DC Health. This is not associated with the app. Our staff follows up with persons reported as positive, based on information provided within the laboratory report. As a courtesy to all app users, DC Health will verify positive tests and then provide DC CAN users with a personal identifying number (PIN). You must use that PIN in order to report a positive result to the app. This prevents people from falsely reporting positive results, which could generate false exposure notifications. DC Health wants all app users to feel confident that when a possible COVID-19 exposure is received via the app, that it is a real event.
If you have the current Apple or Google operating system installed on your device, you may have noticed that Exposure Notifications are now included. You cannot enable this function until you have installed Washington's DC CAN app. Apple and Google will delete the exposure notification service tools from their respective operating systems once the pandemic reaches a point that public health no longer requires the use of this technology.
Thank you for installing DC CAN! Together, we can protect our family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues, and keep DC moving forward!