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COVID-19 Alert app for iOS and Android released by Canadian Government

The COVID-19 Alert app for iOS and Android has been released by the Canadian Federal Government. However, currently it seems to be supported only in Ontario.

COVID Alert

Let’s protect each other

Health Canada

The iOS (iPhone, iPad) version is available from the Apple Store or at https://apps.apple.com/ca/app/covid-alert/id1520284227.

The Android version is available from Google Play or https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=ca.gc.hcsc.canada.stopcovid.

How It Works

COVID Alert uses Bluetooth to exchange random codes with nearby phones. It does not use or access any location data. COVID Alert works by determining how far away other phones are by the strength of their Bluetooth signal.

Several times a day, COVID Alert checks a list of codes from people who tell the app they tested positive. You’ll get a notification if a code you received matches one of the positive codes.

If you test positive for COVID-19 you will receive a one-time key with your diagnosis to enter into COVID Alert. The app asks permission to share your random codes from the last 14 days with a central server.

Other phones using COVID Alert check the central server periodically throughout the day. If they recorded any codes that match the codes in the central server, their user will be notified that they were exposed.

COVID Alert has no way of knowing:

  • your location – COVID Alert does not use GPS or location services
  • your name or address
  • the place or time you were near someone
  • if you’re currently near someone who was previously diagnosed

Provincial and territorial governments are working to support COVID Alert across Canada. In some places, people cannot yet report a COVID-19 diagnosis through this app (see above).

It’s still helpful to keep COVID Alert on, no matter where you are. That way, when people are able to report a diagnosis, you’ll find out if you were near them.

COVID Alert was created by Health Canada with the Canadian Digital Service on the private exposure notification framework by Apple and Google.

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