Chrystia Freeland Self-Isolates After COVID Alert App Exposure Notification [u]

Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister, Chrystia Freeland, announced she received an exposure notification from the COVID Alert app on Saturday.

“Today, I had a COVID-19 test after I received a notification from the COVID Alert app. I am isolating at home while I wait for the results of the test. My thanks to our excellent health care professionals,” said Freeland.

“The COVID Alert app is an important tool in our fight against the virus. Download it today,” added the Deputy Prime Minister. No other details were provided by Freeland. Sadly, COVID Alert is not available in B.C. and Alberta, yet.

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.

On Friday, the COVID Alert app was updated to bring more specific notifications, as those voluntarily sharing their positive COVID-19 tests could enter in dates of when they were contagious.

Provinces currently supporting COVID Alert:

  • Manitoba
  • New Brunswick
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Ontario
  • Quebec
  • Saskatchewan
  • Nova Scotia
  • Prince Edward Island

Still waiting for:

  • Alberta
  • British Columbia
  • Northwest Territories
  • Nunavut
  • Yukon

Recently, the government of Canada acknowledged there was a bug within the COVID Alert app, and urged Canadians to update to iOS 14.0.1 to resolve the issue.

Download links: 

As of October 28, COVID Alert has been downloaded 4.9 million times, with over 2,800 people voluntarily entering in one-time keys.

Update: Freeland’s results have come back negative.