The Government of Canada announced last week the release of its new COVID Alert App to aid in the government’s contact tracing efforts, and to help limit spread and prevent future outbreaks during the pandemic. More information about the app can be found here.
The app is completely voluntary and uses Bluetooth technology to automatically send notifications to users of possible exposure to the COVID-19 virus. The government has continued to stress that the app does not use location services or use GPS to track your location. All personal information such as your name, address, or health information will remain completely anonymous.
Although Ontario is the first province where people can use COVID Alert to report a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis, downloading the app outside of Ontario is also helpful and will allow users to notify other people that a confirmed diagnosis had been reported around them.
The federal government also released the ArriveCan app for essential workers entering Canada to make it easier for them to provide their contact information to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) in advance of entering Canada. Downloading the app prior to arrival at a port of entry can reduce the need for exchange of information and ultimately prevent excessive Border Wait Times and processing times.
As reported last week, delays and queueing have occurred at some ports of entry when the policy was first introduced earlier this month. All personal information is only collected once, and companies and drivers are advised to download the latest version of the app to ensure delays do not occur due to technology issues.