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Weekly COVID-19 Update: Exposure Notifications from Your Phone and the Pulse of the Electronic Components Supply Chain

9/8/2020

The ANSI Federation and standardization community are stepping up with guidance, resources, and initiatives to support public health, safety, and infrastructure during the COVID-19 outbreak. ANSI is monitoring, sharing, and promoting appropriate news to highlight these efforts. Suggestions for news items may be submitted to pr@ansi.org. All submissions are published at ANSI's discretion.

ECIA Releases Results of Manufacturer and Distributor Survey

The Electronic Components Industry Association (ECIA) has released the results of its latest supply chain survey on the impact of the coronavirus. In February, ECIA began conducting surveys of member manufacturing and distributor companies to provide visibility on the ever-evolving impact of COVID-19 on the electronics components supply chain.

The survey, which ended on August 17, reflects responses across a range of measures and show a significant jump in concerns regarding the health of the electronics components supply chain. According to ECIA: While concerns about end-market demand remain high, the index of concern regarding raw materials disruption, shipping and logistics disruption, and electronics components production jumped from their lowest levels measured in July back to the peak levels last seen in April and May. Concerns regarding electronics systems manufacturing continued to increase from the lows seen at the end of May.

Additionally, the outlook for individual end markets saw automotive electronics continue its rebound from very depressed levels. Every end-market saw improved expectations for demand to one degree or another with the exception of industrial electronics and medical electronics. 

Access the synopsis of the survey, available at www.ecianow.org.

Google and Apple Partner to Support Exposure Notifications for COVID Alerts

In a combined effort to encourage more U.S. states to adopt their phone-tracking approach for contract tracing to contain the spread of COVID-19, Google and Apple last week announced the second phase of their “exposure notification” system, called Exposure Notifications Express.

Originally launched as Exposure Notifications, the effort is intended to support global public health authority contact tracing efforts. Public health authorities who have built smart phone apps that use the Exposure Notifications System are alerted to coronavirus cases. While the apps do not track location or share user identity with Google or Apple [see the full explanation in Google description and video], the second phase includes new tools that ease the burden for public health authorities to implement and track exposure notifications—without the need to develop or maintain an app.

Under phase 2, the technology is built directly into phone software, which was designed to automatically alert people if they might have been exposed to the coronavirus. States can choose whether they want to enable the Apple-Google system. Those that opt-in will have access to the system without having to download an app.

As the Associated Press reports, the tech companies said they expect Maryland, Nevada, Virginia and Washington, D.C., to be the first in the U.S. to launch the new version of their tool. Virginia, in early August, became the first state to launch a customized pandemic app using the Google-Apple framework.

See more about the requirements in Apple's article.

How does technology augment conventional contact tracing?

According to an Apple/Google statement:

"Mobile devices can be used in an automated and scalable way to help determine who has been exposed to a person that later reports a positive diagnosis of COVID-19. For example, they can be used to send a rapid notification to the exposed person with instructions on next steps. These notifications may be beneficial by alerting an exposed individual faster than they would be notified via conventional contact tracing. They will enable public health authorities to contact and provide guidance to the individual and, where appropriate, include them in conventional contact tracing efforts. Using digital exposure notifications is new and individual health authorities are determining how they best fit into their own public health systems."

See more ANSI member efforts in the ANSI COVID-19 Resource Webpage Highlighting Standardization Community Response Efforts.

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