L.A. COUNTY AND CITY LEADERS JOIN FORCES WITH CITIZEN TO LAUNCH SAFEPASS PARTNERSHIP
SafePass will support the Department of Public Health’s contact tracing program
LOS ANGELES –– Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, County Department of Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek, and Citizen CEO Andrew Frame appeared at a press conference at L.A. City Hall today to announce a partnership with SafePass, a mobile app that provides contact tracing capabilities for individuals throughout Los Angeles County.
SafePass will allow users to self-report their symptoms for COVID-19 and receive notifications and alerts directly from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. All contact tracing data is anonymous, private, encrypted, and deleted after 30 days by Citizen. Officials encouraged residents to download the app to expand local efforts to track COVID-19 for L.A. County’s 10 million residents.
“The County’s partnership with SafePass is a valuable tool to help slow the spread of COVID-19 throughout our region,” said Supervisor Kathryn Barger, Chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. “The success of the SafePass app relies on a continued sense of community impact among our residents by asking individuals to do their part to protect themselves and their neighbors.”
“Contact tracing relies on residents sharing with us key information to identify close contacts, and today we are adding additional capacity for our program through SafePass,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “This new tool allows everyone to share responsibility for protecting each other, and I want to thank Citizen for their innovation and commitment to helping us slow the spread of COVID-19.”
“We have to deploy every tool at our disposal to halt the spread of COVID-19 –– from wearing masks to keeping our distance to avoiding large gatherings –– and contact tracing is an absolutely essential part of our effort to track this virus and save lives,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “The Citizen SafePass app puts the power of public health in the palms of our hands, equipping us with another way to expand our tracing programs, bend the COVID curve in the right direction, protect our families and friends, and build on recent progress against this deadly pandemic.”
“We must continue to use all available resources, data, and technology to fight COVID-19,” said Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia. “In addition to our face coverings and physical distancing, contact tracing is an important part of beating this global health crisis.”
“COVID-19 knows no City boundaries, so we are thankful to have such strong partnerships with our neighboring Cities and the County to better serve our community,” said City of Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek. “This app is another tool that our residents can use to empower themselves to best take care of their health, and the health of those around them.”
“It’s promising to hear one of the greatest cities in America is embracing technology to fight this epidemic,” said Citizen CEO Andrew Frame. “With a possible second wave on the horizon, it’s critical we prepare now for the future. The way to contain the virus until the vaccine arrives is to do our part by wearing masks, social distancing, contact tracing, and to get tested frequently through the free testing resources provided by the City of Los Angeles.”
The Citizen SafePass mobile app complements the existing local COVID-19 response efforts in Los Angeles County by introducing an innovative tool that ramps up the critical contact tracing process. Following three months of testing with more than 700,000 users, SafePass was recently made available to users across the United States.
Using Bluetooth technology and anonymized data, SafePass tracks any close contacts with other users, and alerts them to potential exposures. Any users who have meaningful contact with another user who later tests positive for COVID-19 will receive a notification to get tested. The app also offers immediate access to eligible users for a free at-home testing kit for those who have been notified of exposure through the app and provides up to date information about all active testing sites in Los Angeles County (terms and conditions apply see https://citizen.com/tracing/
The County of Los Angeles and City of Los Angeles have tested more than two million people since the start of the pandemic at testing sites located across the region. Similarly, over 2,600 County and City workers have been deployed by the L.A. County Public Health Department to conduct critical contact tracing services. For more information about available testing in Los Angeles, visit https://covid19.lacounty.gov/