What is the DC COVID Alert Notice?
The DC COVID Alert Notice or DC CAN is the official COVID-19 Exposure Notification Express system for the District of Columbia offered through DC Health. This system was developed to assist the contact tracing efforts by the Coronavirus Contact Trace Force. Contact tracing is a technique used by public health authorities to contact and give guidance to anyone who may have been exposed to a person who has contracted COVID-19. This technique will be an essential part of transitioning back to daily life while managing the risk of further outbreaks.
How can Exposure Notifications help?
Traditional methods of contact tracing are critical to containing the spread of infection. Technology can support and augment these efforts by allowing public health authorities to quickly notify people who may have been exposed to a person who has contracted COVID-19, including those the person might not know directly. This starts with Exposure Notifications on your smartphone. These will help DC Health alert you if you’ve been exposed to COVID-19.
On Android, you can find the system as an app on Google Play.
If you have an iPhone, opt-in to Exposure Notifications in your device settings.
How does DC CAN work?
DC CAN works by assigning you a random number called a ‘random ID’. To ensure these random IDs cannot be used to identify users or their whereabouts, they change every 10-20 minutes. As the user goes on about their day, their devices and other devices around them exchange these random IDs via Bluetooth Low Energy technology.
On a daily basis, DC CAN downloads a list of all the random IDs associated with positive COVID-19 cases and checks them against the random IDs users have encountered in the last 14 days. If there’s match, the system may notify users considering the day of exposure, how long it lasted, and the Bluetooth signal strength of the contact. No other information about the exposure will be shared.
Where can I download DC CAN?
For Android users, download DC CAN through Google Play. Open the Settings feature within the app, click Exposure Notifications and turn the switch to “On”.
For Apple users, simply go to your Settings and click Exposure Notifications. You must select your region as District of Columbia and then complete the onboarding.
What is DC CAN Self Report?
Users now have the option of self-reporting their positive status in DC CAN. This new feature will greatly increase the speed of the District’s contact tracing efforts by identifying close contacts and notifying them of their potential exposure to the virus.
How do I use DC CAN Self Report?
For Apple users:
- Go into Settings and select “Exposure Notifications.”
- Navigate to “Share a Positive COVID-19 Diagnosis”
- Follow the instructions shown, and select “Didn’t get a code? Visit DC Health Website”
- Enter the date of your COVID-19 test, provide your mobile phone number, and continue
- Open the message from DC Health that pops up on your phone, and follow the prompts to continue sharing your status
- You will receive a confirmation that you have shared your status and alerted others who have come into close contact that they may have been exposed
For Android users:
- Open the DC CAN Exposure Notification App
- Select “Share your test result to help stop the spread of COVID-19”
- Follow the prompts and select “I need a code”
- Provide your mobile phone number and testing date, and select “Send code”
- Enter the code sent to you by DC Health (it may auto-populate)
- Follow the prompts, review your information, and share your status to alert others that they may have been exposed
How does DC CAN Self Report work?
- Users must request a code to share their status and go on to share their status on the same device
- Users should only enter their own mobile phone number when sharing their status; if the phone number the user provides does not match the phone number that is being used, the user will not be able to share their positive status
- Users may self-report once every 90 days
What should I do if I am asked to share my status again after Self Reporting?
- If you have already self-reported your positive status, and received a message from DC Health to share your positive status again, that means that DC Health has received your positive test result and automatically issued you a code to share your status
- DC Health advises you to follow the prompts and share your positive test result
- This will send a notification to anyone you have come into contact with since sending out the first notification from Self Report
- Only people who you may have come into contact with since you notified via self-report will receive a notification
Will DC CAN protect my privacy?
Your privacy is very important to not only us, but to Apple and Google, so they’ve made the user in charge of how much information you’d like to share. The system only works in the user decides to opt-in. You control whether you receive Exposure Notifications and if you change your mind, you can turn it off any time.
DC CAN does not track your location. It does not collect or use the location from your device. It uses Bluetooth, which can be used to detect if two devices are near each other – without revealing where the devices are.
All the Exposure Notification matching happens on your smartphone. The system does not share your identity with other users, Apple or Google.
Does DC CAN work outside the District of Columbia?
Yes, the system will continue to exchange anonymous Bluetooth keys with other users wherever you are, including outside of the District. The Exposure Notification System will only work if the area that you are traveling to also has an exposure notification mobile app interoperable through Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL).
Currently, DC CAN is completely interoperable with Exposure Notifications apps from New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Nevada, North Dakota, Wyoming, Michigan, Colorado, Maryland and Virginia. Users that travel between these regions will receive Exposure Notifications if they come in close contact with another user that has verified a positive test result regardless of the State experience they are using.
Do I always need to leave DC CAN open for the system to work?
No. DC CAN will run in the background when it is not open. You will need to make sure the system is installed, and exposure notification service has been enabled for the app to work.
Do I always need to keep Bluetooth turned on for DC CAN to work?
Yes. Bluetooth must always be turned on for the Exposure Notification System to detect how close you are to other users.
How does DC CAN determine who is a COVID-19 positive case?
When a person tests positive for COVID-19, a public health representative from the DC Contact Trace Force contacts that individual to discuss their diagnosis, learn how they are feeling and understand who may have been exposed to the them. During that conversation, the public health representative will ask if the person has DC CAN or provide instructions on how to access the system. Then the representative will offer to provide them with a unique 8-digit validation code to upload their random Bluetooth IDs after which exposure alerts will go out to all the other users that they may have been in close contact.
Will DC CAN work on iPads or Tablets?
No, the app does not work on iPads or Tablets.
What phones can support this app?
iPhone users can use DC CAN if they have iOS versions 12.5, 13.7, or later. All iPhones released starting in 2013 support iOS 12.5, 13 or 14: iPhone 12, 12 Mini, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max, 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max, XR, XS, XS Max, X, SE (2nd generation), 8, 8 Plus, 7, 7 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, SE (1st generation), 6, 6 Plus, and 5s.
Android users can use DC CAN if your phone supports Bluetooth Low Energy, Android Version 6 (API 23) or above, and can access the Google Play Store.
For further questions concerning Exposure Notifications, please visit www.google.com/covid19/exposurenotifications