The tech giants Apple and Google are making it easier to get COVID-19 exposure notifications on your phone — in some cases, without requiring an app.

Apple on Tuesday released iOS 13.7, adding support for a new exposure notification system for powering COVID-19 tracking.

The system is an extension of the existing coronavirus contact tracing efforts, but it removes the burden on states of having to build a dedicated app.

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As the next step in our work with public health authorities on Exposure Notifications, we are making it easier and faster for them to use the Exposure Notifications System without the need for them to build and maintain an app,” Apple and Google said in a statement. “Exposure Notifications Express provides another option for public health authorities to supplement their existing contact tracing operations with technology without compromising on the project’s core tenets of user privacy and security.”

Apple and Google made sure to clarify that existing apps, of which there are six, will continue to work, and support for interoperability between states is built into the new framework to allow for contact tracing state lines.

The first official app supporting the exposure notification system debuted in Virginia earlier in August. The University of Alabama at Birmingham launched a closed pilot for an exposure notification app last month as well.

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