Linux Foundation Launches Open Source COVID Group
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Wednesday, 29 July 2020

The Linux Foundation has set up a group to bring together a number of open source projects that are working to fight COVID-19.  The Linux Foundation Public Health (LFPH) builds, secures, and sustains open source software to help public health authorities (PHAs) combat COVID-19 and future epidemics.

The founding seven Premier members are Cisco,, Geometer, IBM, NearForm, Tencent, and VMware, with COVID Shield and COVID Green as hosted Covid-19 project that are currently being deployed in Canada, Ireland, and several U.S. states.


COVID Shield and COVID Green are both part of the Google Apple Exposure Notification (GAEN) system.GAEN is a framework and specification developed by Apple and Google for digital contact tracing during the Covid-19 crisis.


The Linux Foundation says LFPH will initially focus on exposure notification applications like COVID Green and COVID Shield that use the GAEN system, after which it will expand to support all aspects of PHA’s testing, tracing, and isolation activities.

COVID Shield was developed by a volunteer team of more than 40 developers from Shopify along with members of the Ontario and Canadian Digital Services. and is in the process of being deployed in Canada. While not an official Shopify project, the efforts were supported by Shopify CEO Tobi Lütke.

COVID Green was developed by a team at NearForm and was commissioned by the Irish Government in response to the pandemic, and is already in use by a third of adults in Ireland since it was deployed by Ireland’s Health Services Executive two weeks ago.

Both apps are available for use and customization by other public health authorities. The likelihood is that other applications will also become available as Covid Watch, Kiel University of Applied Sciences, and US Digital Response have also joined LFPH as nonprofit associate members.

In addition to COVID Shield and COVID Green, the TCN Coalition is merging into LFPH. The TCN Coalition is a global community of technologists supporting the development of privacy-preserving and cross-compatible exposure notification apps during the COVID-19 pandemic.


More Information

LFP Public Health Website

Google GAEN

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 29 July 2020 )