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MDHHS Launches New COVID-19 Contact Tracing App, Guidance for Holidays

November 12, 2020


The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has launched a new app for Android/IOS that all students and employees are encouraged to download. The app aids in contact tracing efforts. MI COVID Alert, uses bluetooth to notify users if they were in “close contact” with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

If you use the app you will:

  • be told if you may have been in close contact with another app user who has tested positive for coronavirus
  • be able to anonymously warn close contacts if you test positive for coronavirus
  • make contact tracing quicker for the health service
  • help map and predict the spread of the virus

The app is part of the MDHHS contact tracing operation. It uses Bluetooth and anonymous IDs to log:

  • any phone you are in close contact with that also has the app
  • the distance between your phone and another app users’ phone
  • the length of time your phone is near another app users’ phone

Every 2 hours the app downloads a list of anonymous IDs. MDHHS classifies close contact as within 6-feet of someone for 15 minutes or more. You’ll get an alert on your phone if that person anonymously shares a positive COVID-19 result and you may have been exposed.

The app does this work in the background, meaning you can use your phone as normal. You can also report a positive COVID-19 test result within the app, so your close contacts will be notified.

You can download MI COVID Alert from the App Store or Google Play.


In addition to the MI COVID Alert, MDHHS has also released guidance for the upcoming holiday season. Students traveling across Michigan or to other states to visit friends and family over the holidays risk bringing COVID-19 home with them, fueling outbreaks within their households and communities, and reintroducing COVID-19 to campuses when they return.

For the two weeks after departing campus, students are recommended to:

    • Wear masks at all times around anyone you weren’t living with on campus (even around family).
    • Where possible, stay 6 feet apart from everyone, including family, particularly if anyone must remove their mask (such as during meals).
    • Where possible, avoid physical contact with others (for example, avoid hugging elderly relatives or others in high risk groups).
    • Do not attend gatherings outside the home (for example, do not meet up with high school friends in town).
    • Monitor for symptoms twice a day. Check your temperature, review a symptom checklist, enter your results in a symptom tracker.
    • Test if you become symptomatic at any time, and if possible once at five to 10 days after departing campus.

For the latest information on Michigan’s response to COVID-19, please visit Michigan.gov/Coronavirus. You may also call the COVID-19 Hotline at 888-535-6136 or email COVID-19@michigan.gov.

To view Finlandia’s current COVID-19 response and resources, please visit finlandia.edu/safeopen.

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