COVID Alert for iOS currently is only supported in Ontario, but an update to the app today suggests more support is coming from provinces and territories. The 1.0.5 update description for the app says it can now “include more provinces and territories.”
Yesterday, the federal government announced COVID Alert downloads are at 2.2 million after its first month.
COVID Alert for iOS and Android runs on the Exposure Notification framework from Apple and Google. It allows devices to have digital “handshakes” in the background using Bluetooth. Exposure is considered contact within two metres for 15 minutes or more with another individual.
The app does not use GPS, is anonymous, and does not collect any personal information. The open source app has been vetted and approved by federal and provincial privacy commissioners. Users who test positive for COVID-19 can choose to anonymously alert others in the app of exposure to coronavirus.
So far, B.C. is undecided on COVID Alert, alongside Manitoba. Quebec has rejected COVID Alert for now, while Alberta will switch from its ABTraceTogether app to COVID Alert at some point this year. Newfoundland and Labrador previously noted it would support COVID Alert sometime in September.
Even if your provincial health authority does not support COVID Alert, it’s still worth downloading the app as you can still be notified of potential exposures.