Information Center

PA COVID-19 Contact Tracing App

Last Updated: Jan. 22, 2021 at 11:34 am

The Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) has an official mobile app available for download, COVID Alert PA, that uses the Exposure Notification System (ENS) provided by Apple and Google. This free app allows users to opt-in to receive alerts if they have had a potential exposure to someone who tested positive for COVID-19, which can help users take timely and appropriate action. While this app does not replace Lehigh’s manual contact tracing efforts and use of the app is not mandatory, broad participation would help increase its effectiveness. COVID Alert PA also provides a useful positive case breakdown by county as well as other informative statistics that are built in, which are updated continuously.

The app will never collect, transmit, or store your personal information and is completely anonymous. More than 400,000 Pennsylvanians have downloaded the app.

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions marked with a bell emoji have been added recently.
  • The app uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology to estimate proximity to other phones with enabled Exposure Notification Service (ENS) technology developed by Apple and Google. This is the same technology that your phone uses to connect to wireless headphones or your car.
  • COVID Alert PA works by using random Bluetooth keys that change every 10-20 minutes. Phones with the app will anonymously share these random keys if they are within 6 feet of each other for 15 minutes or more.
  • When a user confirms positive COVID-19 test results in the app, the app on your phone will check to see if it matches any of the random Bluetooth keys your phone has been close to over the last 14 days.
  • If there is a match, COVID Alert PA may send you an alert after taking into account the date, duration of exposure, and the Bluetooth signal strength (which is used to estimate how close you were to the person with the positive test result).
  • Students should contact the Lehigh Health and Wellness Center
  • Faculty and Staff should contact Terri Latviz from Lehigh Valley Health Network: 
    • Phone: 610-861-8080 select 5 to bypass menu and input extension: x21237
    • Email:

Remember- when completing your HawkWatch Self Assessment, you should answer Yes to Question 4: In the past 14 days have you had close contact with a person who is known to have or is suspected of having COVID–19?

Completing the check-in process on the COVID Alert PA is a personal decision that you have to make. Completing this process DOES NOT replace the HawkWatch Daily Self Assessments.

Yes, you still need to complete the daily HawkWatch Self Assessments. The COVID Alert PA is an application that is owned and operated by the State of Pennsylvania and Lehigh has no access to the application and data. The HawkWatch Self Assessment is one of the factors that grant you building access on campus, so to continue to gain access, you need to successfully complete your HawkWatch Self Assessment.

  • The app does not use GPS, location services, or any movement or geographical information.
  • The app will never collect, transmit, or store your personal information and is completely anonymous.