Wrapping up its first month, the COVID Alert coronavirus exposure notification app has registered 2.2 million downloads and 90 positive infection reports in Ontario. It is, however, not known how many people have been notified of exposure since the app does not collect that information (via Global News).
“Due to the strong privacy and security measures built into the app, this data is not available,” said Public Health Agency of Canada spokesperson Natalie Mohamed.
According to Dr. Zain Chagla, an infectious disease specialist, the numbers show a disconnect between the number of people being diagnosed and the number using the app to share that information.
“That’s a large amount that’s lost,” Chagla said when asked about the daily case numbers in Ontario versus those logged in the app.
“There’s definitely some more work to be done getting into more people’s phones.”
“All of us are going back into society, all of us are going to stores, going to restaurants. Maybe it’s better for those private industries to say, ‘For the safety of our stores and the safety of the individuals in our establishment, please download the app when you enter this facility,’” he said.
While the federal government has said the app will roll out to other provinces, there’s no timeline yet on when Canadians in other provinces will be able to use it. We know Alberta will switch to COVID Alert, while Newfoundland and Labrador is expected to join this month sometime.