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Posted on: June 26, 2020

Teton County Health Department Unveils Mobile App to Aid in Contact Tracing Efforts

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The Teton Health Department announces the use of PathCheck SafePlaces a mobile app created by Path Check Inc. to assist the Teton County Health Department in contact tracing efforts as Teton County continues to see more COVID-19 cases.  The app applies technology to the traditional contact tracing process, reducing memory errors, and notifying possible contacts much more efficiently.  The PathCheck SafePlaces app is now available for the public to download from the Apple Store and Google Play Store at no cost. 

Teton County Health Department has collaborated with Path Check and Extreme Solution to release the app for Teton County and encourages all residents and visitors to download the app.  One of the main reasons this app was chosen by the Teton County Health Department was due to the company’s commitment to preserving privacy.   

“Contact tracing is a critical piece to identifying those who may have been exposed so that the Health department can quarantine them so that we can stop the spread of COIVD-19 in Teton County ,” said Teton County Health Director Jodie Pond. “Contact tracing has been used for years by public health to combat infectious disease, which is one of the most important steps to containing an outbreak.”

The app works by maintaining a time stamped GPS log of a person’s locations in 5 minutes increments.  The information is saved on a person’s phone for 14 days.  The logged data will only leave a person’s device if the user chooses to send the information to the Teton County Health Department during part of the contact tracing process.  This data will assist the contact tracers to help cue an individual to remember all the places they have been in the 48 hours prior to their COVID-19 symptoms developing. 

The PathCheck SafePlaces app can also notify users if they have come within thirty feet of a someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 within a defined time range, based on GPS data. The Path Check app creator says that preserving user’s privacy was an integral part in developing the app.

“The app doesn’t ask for your name or e-mail and location history is only saved on your phone, not on some kind of third-party server,” said DC Shipps of Path Check Inc.  He went on to say, “and if you’ve become diagnosed, it’s your choice if you want to share your location history with the Teton County Health Department.”

Shipps will do a live demonstration of the PathCheck SafePlaces app during the Community COVID-19 Update at Town Hall in Jackson on Friday, June 26, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. In an effort to practice physical distancing, the public is encouraged to stream the meeting by accessing the “Watch a Meeting” feature on the Town of Jackson’s homepage, https://www.jacksonwy.gov/290/Watch-a-Meeting-Online.  Following the demonstration, Shipps will be available to answer questions.

Individuals can learn more about the app on the Teton County Health Department website, https://www.tetoncountywy.gov/2156/PathCheck-SafePlaces-Mobile-App.