Have 2 Smartphones? Download COVID Alert to Only One of Them Says Government

Covid alert two phones

If you have a personal and work smartphone—should download the COVID Alert app to both of them?

According to the federal government, you should only download COVID Alert to just one of them.

Canadian Digital Service (CDS) says downloading COVID Alert to more than one of your smartphones “can actually work against the purpose of the app.”

“To protect the integrity of a notification, only 1 one-time key is given for a positive diagnosis, to be entered into 1 device,” said CDS. “So if you had 2 phones with the app, you’d have to pick which one to enter the key into (and which contacts get notifications).”

Canadians are being told to only download COVID Alert to the one smartphone you “use the most when you leave home.”

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.

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. The app was also recently updated to bring more precise notifications.

Download links: 

As of November 2, COVID Alert has been downloaded over 5 million times, with over 3,300 people voluntarily entering in one-time keys.

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