AlohaSafe Alert adds COVID-19 home test reporting


AlohaSafe Alert, the State of Hawaii’s official COVID-19 exposure notification service, announced an update that allows users to self-report a positive at-home test result.

The app will also be transitioning to the AlohaSafe Alert Express version, which utilizes the built-in exposure notification features on both Apple and Android devices.

The free app launched statewide in January 2021 as a way to reduce community spread of the virus and is designed to provide anonymous notifications utilizing Bluetooth technology to people who may have been exposed to COVID-19. Since its launch, there have been over 1.6 million activations of the app and 10,330 codes were claimed by people who tested positive for COVID-19.

An important new feature of the built-in exposure notification service is that users will now be able to self-report a positive at-home test result. The self-report feature allows users to proactively report a positive at-home test results and request a verification code via the exposure notifications setting on their smartphones.

While PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) laboratory testing remains the gold standard for testing, many people are now taking at-home tests. Home test results are not being added to test databases, which were previously required to generate a verification code for AlohaSafe Alert. This new feature aims to decrease the time elapsed between a positive test result and exposure notifications being distributed, allowing people to anonymously notify others that they may have been exposed to COVID-19.

The self-report feature was piloted in Colorado and has been successful in multiple other states.

Android users will not be required to update their app to access these features. However, iPhone users will need to turn on Exposure Notifications in Settings to access the new features.

Besides Hawaii, 26 states and the District of Columbia have also deployed the exposure notification technology. Hawaii was among the first to adopt EN Express, which allowed iPhone users to opt-in to the service without downloading the app and allowed compatibility with older phones to promote greater access across the community.

AlohaSafe Alert was developed through a public-private partnership with DOH, aio Digital, and the Hawaii Executive Collaborative. It is funded by DOH and donations from the private sector.

How to turn on Exposure Notifications on an iPhone

  1. Open Settings on your iPhone
  2. Scroll down to Exposure Notifications
  3. Click on “Turn On Exposure Notifications”
  4. Click on “Continue”
  5. Select your Country or Region (select “United States”)
  6. Select your State or Region (select “Hawaii”)
  7. Accept the Terms & Conditions
  8. A pop-up menu will appear asking you to Turn on Exposure Notifications. Click on “Turn On”

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