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Carry 2 Cellphones for COVID Alert App If You Upgraded Recently Says Government

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Covid alert new phone

If you recently upgraded your smartphone to a newer iPhone or Android device, how do you transfer over your exposure logs from the COVID Alert app?

According to the federal government’s Canadian Digital Service (CDS), “If you upgrade your phone, there’s no way to transfer the exposure logs that #COVIDAlert collects to a new phone. It’s one of the ways the app protects your privacy.”

So if you upgraded to a new phone—what should you do? You’ll need to carry both of your devices for two weeks, explained CDS on Tuesday:

  1. Keep COVID Alert installed and active on your old phone, if possible
  2. Download COVID Alert on your new phone
  3. Carry both phones with you
  4. Make sure both phones can connect to the internet at least once a day for 2 weeks

“If you test positive and get a one-time key during this 2 week period, enter it into whichever phone has more exposure logs,” which will most likely be your old phone for the first week and new phone for the second week.

Once you’ve gone two weeks of showing two huge bulges in your skinny jeans (why hello there iPhone 12 Pro Max and iPhone 11 Pro Max!), CDS says you can ditch your old phone and delete COVID Alert from it. Exposure logs will be automatically deleted after 15 days.

What if you can’t carry two phones in your pants? “If you aren’t able to keep your old phone for 2 weeks, we suggest downloading COVID Alert right away, and continuing to use all the other tools available (masks, hand washing, physical distancing) to help keep you and your community safe.”

Oh, for those in B.C. and Alberta, you can just carry one phone since you can’t enter one-time keys into COVID Alert, as both governments refuse to adopt the national exposure notification app. #SHAME

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

Download links: 

As of November 17, COVID Alert has been downloaded 5.3 million times, with 5,145 people voluntarily entering in one-time keys, according to the federal government.

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