Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

For all the attention on Apple and Google's joint effort to help track COVID-19 exposure, adoption of the technology in the U.S. has been limited, especially compared to other countries.

Why it matters: The companies' exposure notification technology could augment the labor-intensive work of contact tracing that experts say is key to controlling the spread of a disease for which there is no treatment or cure.

  • As NBC News reported Sunday, even some of the states that expressed support for the project have yet to move forward with apps, with others saying they have no plans to leverage the technology.

The big picture: There are several reasons adoption in the U.S. has been slow. As with many other aspects of addressing the coronavirus crisis, federal health authorities have left the choice whether and how to use exposure notification technology to individual states.

  • Handling things at the state level forces each state to at least partially reinvent the wheel, all at a time when scarce tech resources are stretched thin.

Between the lines: It's unclear how many Americans would voluntarily use such apps, given a cultural aversion to government tracking as well as significant portions of the population who don't believe COVID-19 is a significant threat and refuse to wear masks or take other steps.

  • That's despite the fact that Google and Apple have made the technology as simple and privacy-preserving as possible.

Go deeper: Apple, Google deliver test code for virus-exposure tracking

Go deeper

Sep 22, 2020 - Health

U.S. reaches 200,000 coronavirus deaths

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Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Chart: Axios Visuals

The coronavirus has now killed 200,000 Americans, according to Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: Whatever context you try to put this in, it is a catastrophe of historic proportions — and is yet another reminder of America's horrific failure to contain the virus.

Sep 22, 2020 - Health

CDC releases holiday season guidance to curb COVID-19 spread

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued holiday-specific guidelines this week to limit COVID-19 risks posed by gatherings and celebrations prior to the fall and winter holidays.

Why it matters: With the flu season just around the corner, medical experts are worried about the likelihood of battling COVID-19 and influenza at the same time. The coronavirus has now killed 200,000 Americans, and the U.S. is averaging roughly 830 per day. Cases and deaths could worsen again as the weather gets colder and people move indoors.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
Sep 23, 2020 - Health

Supply shortages continue to plague COVID-19 testing

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Supply shortages are still a problem for coronavirus testing, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: Health systems are being forced to limit who gets tested, sometimes limiting tests to the most essential patients — which is far from an ideal testing strategy.