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ST. LOUIS – A new contact tracing app already being used in St. Louis will soon allow you to be notified within minutes of being exposed to someone with COVID.

Washington University developed it and says hundreds have already signed up this past week. Soon, big employers all over St. Louis and across Missouri are expected to get on board. 

Right now, it takes days to do proper contact tracing after someone tests positive for COVID-19. Washington University partnered with Google to develop the app called MO/Notify. 

When someone gets a positive test result, they can press a button on their phone, and the people who were their close contacts in the last 14 days will be notified immediately that they might need testing, or they might need to isolate. 

The user enables the exposure notifications on their smartphone. When they’re around someone else with the app, the system records random codes and stores them for 14 days. 

The codes identify anyone they’ve encountered. A total of 25 states are already using similar apps.