COVID Alert Hits 2.94 Million Downloads, 514 Have Reported Positive Tests

Canada’s Public Health Agency has released new COVID Alert download numbers, informing CTV News the app has been downloaded 2.94 million times since July 31, 2020.

So far, only 514 users have reported positive test results using COVID Alert, with all of these located in Ontario.

COVID Alert hit 2 million downloads on August 16, while reached 2.2 million downloads on September 1.

According to the Prime Minister’s office to CTV News, after Justin Trudeau encouraged downloads of COVID Alert during last week’s throne speech, the app was downloaded at least 100,000 times on iOS and Android, one hour after the mention. Trudeau also reiterated Canadians to download COVID Alert yesterday.

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.

To date, COVID Alert is supported in Ontario, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador and Saskatchewan. Manitoba is launching support this week, while Alberta and Quebec are set to jump on board soon.