Celine Dion Implores Canadians to Download COVID Alert

According to the Montreal Gazette, Quebec-born queen of pop, Céline Dion, is the latest personality on a mission to get more Canadians signed up on the federal government’s COVID-19 exposure notification app, COVID Alert.

“Most of us are feeling pandemic fatigue but it’s so important to follow public health guidelines, physical distance & wear masks. If you’re in Canada, please download the COVID Alert app. Let’s all keep each other safe,” wrote the singer in Twitter and Instagram stories in both French and English.

Quebec Premier François Legault has openly urged public figures to use their influence on social media to get Quebecers to jump aboard the app, but it is unclear at this time whether Dion was contributing to official efforts to promote COVID Alert.

British Columbia, on the other hand, continues to hold out on COVID Alert (along with Alberta), despite COVID-19 cases being on the rise, which federal Minister of Digital Government Joyce Murray finds “quite disappointing“.

Recently, COVID Alert was updated to show multiple COVID-19 exposure dates, instead of just one-time notifications.

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 key from their provincial health authority.

Provinces currently supporting COVID Alert:

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

Still waiting for:

  • Alberta (SHAME!)
  • British Columbia (SHAME!)
  • Nunavut
  • Yukon

Download links: 

As of January 21, COVID Alert has been downloaded 6.1 million times, with 16,846 people voluntarily entering in one-time keys, according to the federal government.

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