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Did your phone blare with a COVID-19 message? Here’s why

PITTSBURGH — Did your phone blare with a message about COVID-19 Wednesday evening? Gov. Wolf’s office announced the state will start using the national Wireless Emergency Alert system to put out messages about the pandemic.

According to a news release, WEA is a national public safety system that allows people who own a cellphone to receive targeted, text-like messages. The system is currently used to issue alerts to your phone for things like Amber Alerts or severe weather warnings.

The Federal Communications Commission’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau allows the state to use the system as a COVID-19 communications tool.

State officials said the plan is target specific regions of the state for future messages.

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