As expected, Prince Edward Island has launched support for Canada’s COVID Alert app, becoming the seventh province to support the exposure notification app for iOS and Android.
“As Islanders continue through the ‘New Normal’ phase, the app is another tool that is useful in supporting our efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19 in our province. The more Islanders that download the app, the more helpful it will be in preventing future outbreaks. It is a quick and easy step to take to further protect yourself and others,” said Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Heather Morrison, in a statement.
Support for COVID Alert means residents in PEI can now report positive COVID-19 tests within the app, if they choose to do so anonymously.
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.
PEI says islanders who get a notification from the COVID Alert app “should immediately visit a Drop-in Testing Clinic to be tested, and remain at home until they receive their test results.” The adoption of the voluntary app does not replace manual contact tracing in the province.
Nova Scotia will be the next province to support COVID Alert, with the latter noting this week it is in the final stages of supporting the exposure notification app.
Provinces currently supporting COVID Alert or coming soon:
- New Brunswick
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- Nova Scotia (coming soon)
- Prince Edward Island
Still waiting for:
- British Columbia
- Northwest Territories
Yesterday, the government of Canada acknowledged there was a bug within the COVID Alert app, and urged Canadians to update to iOS 14.0.1 to resolve the issue.