Covid app now available in Newfoundland & Labrador
September 9, 2020
ST. JOHN’S – The Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, Andrew Furey (pictured), announced that people in Newfoundland and Labrador can now receive one-time keys from their health authorities to use with COVID Alert, Canada’s COVID-19 exposure notification app. The app, first fully implemented in Ontario in July, helps notify users if they may have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
“Launching COVID Alert for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians means there is an important new tool in the toolbox when it comes to living with COVID-19,” said Premier Furey. “A lot of thought and work has gone into its development, and I’d like to thank everyone for their dedication.”
The COVID Alert app is free and voluntary, and is another tool to help limit the spread of COVID-19. 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, and direct them on next steps based on their provincial public health advice.
To safeguard the confidentiality and privacy of all Canadians, the app uses strong measures to protect any data it collects, and does not track a user’s location or collect personally identifiable information. The Privacy Commissioner of Canada was consulted on the development of COVID Alert, and supports its use by Canadians.
COVID Alert is available for download to all Canadians, and the Government of Canada continues to work with the other provinces and territories to bring their health authorities on board in the coming weeks and months.
According to the government of Canada, since launching, there have been 2.2 million downloads of the app.
COVID Alert is available for Canadians as a free download from the App Store or the Google Play Store. When a user downloads the app, their phone sends out randomly generated codes via Bluetooth to other smartphone users who have the app and are within approximately two metres. If they test positive for the virus, users can choose to upload their random codes to a central server located in Canada. Once uploaded, the random codes are stored on the server for 15 days, after which they are automatically deleted.
Since the app first launched in Ontario, 112 people have voluntarily input their one-time key to notify others around them after testing positive for COVID-19.