COVID Alert App: Why You Should Download It
A new voluntary app was recently released for Canadians to protect users from the spread of COVID-19.
“COVID Alert” is an app produced by Health Canada that gives alerts to users if they’re within two metres or near an individual for 15 minutes who has tested positive for the new coronavirus.
Ontario residents are currently the only ones who would receive a one-time key if they’ve tested positive for the virus. The key can be inputted into the app, and for 14 days afterwards encrypted Bluetooth signals will be sent to others if they’ve been in close contact with someone who has a positive test and also has the app.
Government officials are encouraging people to sign up for the app. The more people who are signed up, the easier it is to trace the virus and slow the spread of COVID-19. There have already been over 1.1 million downloads, according to Canadian Digital Service.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said when the app was launched that Atlantic provinces would be the next ones to link their healthcare systems to the application with more to follow.
The app, which is free and available in both French and English to those with Androids or iPhones, has received approval from the Privacy Commissioner of Canada along with several other privacy experts. Personal data is not collected and locations aren’t traced.
In order to use “COVID Alert,” users must have an Apple or Android phone made in the last five years.
You can download the iPhone app here.
The Android app is available here.