Connecticut this week joined a number of other states, launching a COVID-19 app that notifies smartphone users of potential exposure to the virus.

The COVID Alert CT app, a contact tracing tool designed by Apple and Google, can help mitigate the transmission of the coronavirus if it is adopted by enough users.

The free, voluntary, and anonymous app alerts a user if they have been within six feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes.

"I urge you to do this. I urge you to do it now," Gov. Ned Lamont said. "It’s exponentially more effective if each and every one of you download this app.”

No Tracking, Data Sharing

State chief operating officer Josh Geballe said the app does not track users’ locations or any personal information.

“It will give you instructions but you will not hear from anyone — unless you reach out to contact tracers,” he said.

“You shouldn’t have any hesitation about downloading it.”

About 100 of Connecticut's 169 cities and towns—representing about 80% of the state’s population—are on red alert status.

The coronavirus is spiking at record levels across the country. Connecticut reported 1,158 new cases Thursday and hospitalizations have doubled in the last two weeks to 617.

About 100 of Connecticut's 169 cities and towns—representing about 80% of the state’s population—are on red alert status.

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former U.S. Food and Drug Administration chief who is advising the Lamont administration, warned that the pandemic likely will surge into late January throughout the country.