By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Gov. Gavin Newsom Monday announced a statewide cellphone-based system designed to notify residents when they’ve been exposed to COVID-19.

The CA Notify system, which will begin Thursday, uses Bluetooth technology to detect when a person is in close proximity to others using anonymous signals transmitted among cell phones.

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When a person who has opted into the program tests positive for COVID-19, the person can consent to have all of their recent close contacts notified by cell phone. The contacts will receive a notification on their phone, alerting them that they have recently been exposed to someone who has tested positive for the coronavirus.

The system was originally developed at UC San Diego and UC San Francisco and has already been deployed on a trial basis on seven UC campuses with an estimated 250,000 people opting in to participate, Newsom said.

The program will not replace traditional contact-tracing efforts but act as “another tool in the toolbox” to supplement those efforts, Newsom said.

Newsom stressed that the information gathered through CA Notify is not collected or made public.

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Android phone users will need to download the CA Notify app to take part in the program.

For Apple iPhone users, the notify program will be available in the phone’s Settings menu, and users can opt-in to receive notifications of possible exposures.

Cell phone users across the state will receive a notification on their phones prior to Thursday, notifying them of the availability of the system and the need to opt-in.

Earlier this year, the city and county of Los Angeles announced a similar program, partnering with the Citizen crime-tracking app.

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(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)