Use “COCOA”: A COVID-19 Contact-Confirming App

Use “COCOA”, the COVID-19 Contact Confirmation Application Provided by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare

Have you ever used “COCOA”, the smartphone application?
The more people there are that use this application, the more we can help contain the spread of COVID-19.
This article provides an overview of the application, how to use it, and answers frequently asked questions about “COCOA”. 
In addition, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW) has released a pamphlet in English. For more detailed information, please refer to this: https://www.mhlw.go.jp/content/10900000/000647649.pdf 

What kind of application is it?

This is an application that notifies the user if there is a possibility of close contact with someone who may have been infected with COVID-19. 
Once the app is installed, it uses the Bluetooth function to detect the proximity of other smartphones to record information on people you may have come into close contact with (within 1 meter for more than 15 minutes.)
If a person you may have come into contact with registered themselves as “COVID-19 positive,” you will receive a notification. 
*No personal information or location data will be collected. 

How do we use it? 

  1. Install the application on your smartphone.
    Google Play
    App Store
  2. Launch the application. Agree to the terms of use and turn on Bluetooth. 
  3. After that, you will be able to use the app without launching it as long as you have Bluetooth turned on. (On Android smartphones, you will need to turn on location information to use Bluetooth, but the location information will not be collected.) 

What should I do if I receive a notification of possible contact?

If a person who has tested positive for the COVID-19 registers that information onto the app, and there was possible close contact between you and that person within the past 14 days, you will receive a notification. (This notification will not include the date, time, and location of your contact with that person.)

The following is an example of how the notifications are displayed: the top one indicates possible contact, and the bottom one indicates that the notification system is running properly. (The display may change due to OS updates, etc.) 

Source: Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare Homepage

The following is an example of the screen display of the application when the possibility of contact is confirmed.
Follow the steps ① ~ ③ in the image to find a consulting service.

Source: Created based off of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare Homepage 

The screens above display: 

  • ① 接触の確認: “Check for Contact” – This page shows the number of confirmed close contacts with COVID-19 positive users. 
    1. Click on the “Find COVID-19 Consultation Centers” button (circled in red). 
  • ② 都道府県を選択 : “Select a Prefecture” – This page asks you to choose one of the blue-texted Prefectures to confirm a nearby consultation center.
    2. Click / Select the prefecture you live in or live nearby. 
  • ③ 相談先を案内 : “Guidance on Consultation” – This page gives you a contact list that you can use.
    3. Contact information for medical institutions and consultation centers in the selected prefecture will be displayed in the area squared off in red.
    If you have a fever or other symptoms, please contact your family doctor or the medical institution displayed in the application. Be sure to call the medical institution before going to see a doctor. (You must make a call before going to any medical facility).
    If you know someone close to you who is infected, please contact the suggested consultation center immediately.
    If there are no symptoms or any particular reason for you to think that you have COVID-19, you may go about your daily life as usual. If there are any changes in your physical condition, please consult with the contact information of the local government displayed on the application. 

※The testing for COVID-19 does not cost any money!

People who decide to undergo a test after contacting a medical examination and consultation center can get tested, free of charge. 
However, after listening to your particular situation, the doctor or other health care providers may choose that “testing is unnecessary”. 

What should I do if I am infected with COVID-19?

If you take a PCR or other test and test positive, you will be contacted by your local health center (保健所:Hokenjo).
If you would like your information to be registered in the “COCOA” app, please let the health center know at that time.

How do I register my test result?

You will receive a “processing number” via SMS or email to the contact information you registered at the time of the test.
Please enter the “processing number” you received into the app.
When the registration is complete, you will see the message “Completed: Submit Diagnosis Results”.

(Registering your information is optional. By registering that you were positive, it will allow people who may have come into contact with you to quickly seek medical help.) 

Precautions

This application may be updated. Please make sure to keep the app updated to the latest version. 

For those using the Android version 

  • On February 3, 2021, it was discovered that there was a bug in the Android version that prevented notifications from being delivered.
    This issue has now been resolved.
    Please update to the latest version (1.2.2), which was updated on February 18.
  • In order to receive notifications accurately, you will need to restart the app. To receive notifications quickly, please restart the app about once a day. 

For those using the iOS version

  • It was discovered that some devices with iOS 13.5 may not be able to receive notifications. Please update your smartphone’s OS to the latest version before use.

Frequently Asked Questions

What languages are available for use?

Currently, the app is available in Japanese, English, and Chinese.

Can I use this app overseas?

This app is designed to be used only within Japan. If you are planning to enter Japan, please install it after entering the country.

Is personal information protected? 

The app does not collect any personal information such as your name, phone number, email address, or location information. 
Also, any record of possible contact with other people will be recorded only on your smartphone. 

Contact Information

If you encounter any problems or have any questions or comments, please contact the email address below.
appsupport@cov19.mhlw.go.jp

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