Thursday, 06 August, 2020


Federal COVID-19 app launches after month-long delay

Canada's COVID Alert App Canada's COVID Alert App
Melba Vasquez | 01 August, 2020, 05:22

If a user tests positive for the coronavirus, they will receive a diagnosis key from a public health official to enter into the app. It is free, easy and safe to use, states Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli's office.

Once users download the app, all they have to do is select their province to begin.

Premier Doug Ford announced the release of Canada's new COVID-19 tracing app in Ontario on Friday.

The COVID Alert app comes as much of the province is now in Stage 3 of reopening and is meant to assist with contact tracing and providing people an opportunity to self-isolate to get tested if they have come in contact with someone who has tested positive.

The app works by assigning a random code to a users device and pings other users devices within a 10-metre radius through Bluetooth.

Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 can anonymously upload their status to a national network that would notify other app users who have been in close contact with that person. "They were totally aware that there's going to be some hesitancy with people using this app", said Dr. Isaac Bogoch on CTV News Channel. The government describes it as an exposure notification app - not a contact-tracing app - as it does not track personal data.

Speaking from the Public Health Agency of Canada on Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called it an "innovative" solution and encouraged people across the country to download it.

"This Ontario-made app keeps people informed about being potentially exposed to the virus and allows them to act quickly to stop the spread of the virus". It is a key tool in our case and contact management strategy.

"I want to be clear - this app isn't mandatory".

Nor would they say why only one province has agreed to adopt what it supposed to be a national app.

"By making it easier for Ontarians to protect themselves, their loved ones and their communities, we continue to deliver on our commitment to build a smarter government that works for you". Users who have tested positive can choose make that known on the app.

Several U.S. states are working on apps that use the API, including Alabama, North Dakota, and SC, but no contact tracing apps that take advantage of the tool have been released in the United States to date.

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