iOS 13.7 Still Requires COVID Alert App for Exposure Notifications in Canada
iOS 13.7 was released today with integration of Apple and Google’s Exposure Notification framework for COVID-19 exposure alerts, without the need to download a separate app.
However, in Canada, the iOS 13.7 update still requires Canadians to download COVID Alert to have an active exposure logging status.
When we deleted the COVID Alert app from our iPhone, exposure notifications were turned off immediately and logging status went to “Inactive”. The only way to enable them again was to reinstall COVID Alert from the App Store, after going through Apple’s prompts.
“Your region has an exposure notification app,” explains the App Store message. “To turn on Exposure Notifications for Health Canada, you can download their app from the App Store.”
Once reinstalled, the active status of exchanging random IDs resumed, after agreeing to enable exposure logging notifications and allowing notifications from COVID Alert.
“Your iPhone is exchanging random IDs with other phones and logging them. The past 14 days of requests to check your Exposure Log are saved,” reads an active Exposure Notification setting on an iPhone. The active region when the COVID Alert app is installed shows Health Canada.
The bottom line: you still need to download and install COVID Alert for iOS for active exposure logging on an iPhone, even with iOS 13.7. It appears Exposure Notification Express is only for the United States at the moment, which does not require a user to install an app for notifications of potential exposure to COVID-19. You can read more about this update from Apple and Google over at The Verge.