RICHMOND, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The Virginia Department of Health is going to retire an app that was developed specifically for the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a release, the COVIDWISE Exposure Notification App will be retired when the Association of Public Health Laboratories disables the National Key Server.

This is expected to occur as the National Public Health Emergency comes to an end on May 11.

Across Virginia, more than three million users downloaded the app and/or turned on the app-less version for iPhone users, COVIDWISE Express.

The program helped to alert thousands of people if they had been in close contact with a person who anonymously reported testing positive for COVID-19.

The aim was to quickly notify users who may have been exposed in an effort to reduce the risk of infection and stop transmission of the virus.

“COVIDWISE brought us cutting-edge technology as we responded to one of the biggest public health threats in modern times,” said State Health Commissioner Karen Shelton, M.D. “With this technology, public health agencies put information directly into the hands of citizens, providing them with a tool and information to protect themselves and others around them.”

COVIDWISE was the first exposure notification app in the country that used the Google/Apple framework when it was launched in August 2020.

“We stated from day one that when COVIDWISE was no longer needed, VDH would take the app down,” said Jeff Stover, VDH Chief of Staff. “We are following through on that commitment to the public.”

The app was even able to cross state boundaries as other states launched similar exposure notification systems using the National Key Server, which allowed notifications of potential exposures in participating states or jurisdictions.

When the app is disabled later this week, it can simply be deleted from devices.

People who have COVIDWISE Express turned on can simply turn off exposure notifications in their settings menu.