In a news briefing on Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged Canadian youth to download the country’s COVID Alert exposure notification app, reports Global News.
“Young people need to download the COVID Alert app,” pleaded the PM. “It’s a way of helping your parents, your grandparents — it’s a way of making sure you’re doing your part,” he added.
“It’ll take a second to download, it’s free, it protects your privacy, and it helps concretely in combating this virus,” said the Prime Minister.
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.
Provinces currently supporting COVID Alert:
- New Brunswick
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- Nova Scotia
- Prince Edward Island
- Northwest Territories
Still waiting for:
- British Columbia
As of November 26, COVID Alert has been downloaded 5.5 million times, with 6,406 people voluntarily entering in one-time keys, according to the federal government.
“As we look towards the coming months, we need to use all the tools we have, and COVID Alert is yet another tool in our toolbox,” concluded Trudeau.
While most of Canada has welcomed the COVID Alert app with open arms (the app was even launched in the Northwest Territories recently!), some key provinces (we’re looking at you, Alberta and British Columbia) are still holding out.