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COVID Alert to Launch in P.E.I. and Nova Scotia, Downloads Pass 3.1 Million

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The federal government has announced COVID Alert app support is coming to Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia, to allow for one-time keys to be issued from health authorities.

No specific timeline was mentioned for the launch, but only as “soon” for both provinces.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement both provinces “will soon be able to use to help protect themselves, their loved ones, and their communities from COVID-19. As more people use it, we can slow the spread of the virus and help prevent future waves. We will continue to work with other provinces and territories to bring their health authorities on board so as many Canadians as possible can benefit from the app.”

P.E.I. and Nova Scotia will join Manitoba, Ontario, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador in supporting COVID Alert. Quebec and Alberta have committed to supporting COVID Alert, while B.C. hasn’t made any official announcements yet.

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.

Health Minister Patty Hajdu said COVID Alert downloads have now surpassed 3.1 million.

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