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Under the hood of COVID-19 contact tracing

Like many other states, Maryland is considering creating a smartphone app that will notify residents if they’ve come into proximity with someone diagnosed with COVID-19. But first, the state is launching what Lance Schine, the deputy secretary of information technology, called “classic contact tracing.” Schine told StateScoop that Maryland's coronavirus tracking program will go statewide this week, with 1,400 workers conducting live interviews with patients and others who may have had contact with someone infected with the disease. The interviewers will use a suite of modern, cloud-based software including products from the likes of Salesforce and Amazon, but a mobile app for the public, likely based on the API developed by Apple and Google, is still weeks away, Schine said. Benjamin Freed reports.

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The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity earlier this month notified 98 residents who’d applied for unemployment insurance that their names and Social Security numbers had been compromised. In a May 8 letter addressed to the affected users, the department wrote: “Information associated with a claim submitted under your name was unintentionally sent to a private email server owned by a third party performing work on the agency’s behalf." Florida's data exposure is at least the third involving a state unemployment agency to become public in the last few weeks, following similar incidents in Illinois and Arkansas. Colin Wood has details.

Columbus, Ohio, launches 'digital capstone' of smart city advice

Officials from Columbus, Ohio’s, regional development agency say they’ve exceeded the environmental goals set three years ago as a part of a $40 million challenge from the U.S. Department of Transportation. Now Columbus wants is offering to help other mid-sized cities do the same, with the release of a “digital capstone," a guide summarizing Columbus' smart-city strategies and promotion of electric vehicles. The Ohio capital recently surpassed benchmarks for electric-vehicle purchases set by a $10 million grant it received following the USDOT award. Ryan Johnston reports.

StateScoop 50 Awards open for voting

Voting is open for the 2020 StateScoop 50 Awards! Cast your vote today to recognize and celebrate the top 50 leaders in the state government community. The annual StateScoop 50 Awards honor the best and the brightest who make state government more efficient and effective, including people and organizations making strides in innovation, cybersecurity and service delivery. The awards will be presented during NASCIO's year-end conference in Minneapolis in October. Vote now.

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