COVID Alert Launches in P.E.I. on Thursday; ‘Very Close’ in Nova Scotia

Last week, Prince Edward Island announced it would soon launch support for Canada’s COVID Alert exposure notification app.

Today, the province announced COVID Alert support will launch this Thursday, while Nova Scotia said its own launch was in its final stages.

According to CBC News, P.E.I. Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison said at her Tuesday media briefing COVID Alert would be coming on Thursday and encouraged all Islanders to download and install the app.

“It’s important to note that this is just one tool to assist in managing COVID-19, and does not replace traditional public health measures, such as contact tracing,” said Morrison.

COVID Alert Launch ‘Very Close in Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia also announced last week it would also support COVID Alert as well. The launch doesn’t have a specific date yet, but the process is in the “final steps”, according to the province’s chief medical officer of health, speaking at a media briefing on Tuesday.

“I don’t have an exact date, but we’re in the final steps of working out some of the legal and privacy issues, but we’re very close to having that go live in Nova Scotia,” said Dr. Robert Strang, reports Halifax Today.

Canada’s COVID Alert app is based on Google and Apple’s exposure notification framework, which leverages Bluetooth on devices for anonymous “handshakes” in the background. The app does not use GPS info or collect any user data. It has been vetted as safe by Canada’s privacy commissioner and provincial counterparts.

When someone tests positive for COVID-19, they can anonymously alert others that may have been in contact using COVID Alert, by obtaining a one-time use from their provincial health authority.

COVID Alert has surpassed 3.4 million downloads and currently is available in six provinces and over 70% of Canadians, according to the federal government.