COVID Alert, a New Mobile App, is Now Available for Canadians to Notify Them of Potential COVID-19 Exposure
The Canadian government is acting to ease restrictions and safely restart the economy. In an effort to contain the virus and keep Canadians safe and healthy, Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, and the Premier of Ontario, Doug Ford, has announced that COVID Alert, a new national mobile app, is now available to Canadians for free download.
The use of COVID Alert is voluntary, and is a device to add to the toolkit of ways to help limit the spread of COVID-19. Once the app is fully functioning in their province or territory, users who test positive for COVID-19 will receive a one-time key from their health authority that they can enter into the app. When the key is entered, COVID Alert will notify other users who may have come in close contact with that person for at least 15 minutes in the past 14 days, so they can contact their local public health authority for guidance.
Prime Minister Justice Trudeau highlighted that, “While we have made good progress over the past few months, COVID-19 remains a very serious threat to the health of Canadians. As we continue to gradually restart our economy, innovative technologies like this new app will help us keep our families and communities safe and healthy.”
Mechanisms to safeguard the confidentiality and privacy of users have been implemented. The app does not track the user’s location, nor does it collect any personally identifiable information. An expert Advisory Council is in place to ensure that COVID Alert meets the highest standards of public health outcomes, privacy and technology. The Advisory Council covers a wide range of expertise, including health, privacy, data governance, science, and innovation.
The implementation of the new COVID Alert app is just one example of how the Government of Canada is working with the provinces, territories, and other partners to protect the health of all Canadians, and support efforts to restart the economy gradually and safely.