How effective is Health Canada’s COVID app?

We’re all trying to do our part to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community. One way to do this is with a new app from Health Canada.

The COVID Alert app is an essential tool we can use to help limit the spread of infection and prevent future outbreaks as we ease restrictions and restart the economy. The more Canadians who install the app, the more effective it can be.

How it works

The app uses Bluetooth signals to exchange random codes with nearby phones that also have the app installed. If someone you’ve come in close contact with later tests positive for COVID-19, they will receive a one-time-key from their local health authority that they can enter into the app.

You and others who have spent time near this person will then be notified through the app that you may have been exposed. If you’ve been within two metres of a person for more than 15 minutes who also has the app and who later tests positive for COVID-19, you’ll get a notification.

What to do if you may have been exposed

Every day, whenever it has an internet connection, your phone will get a list of the random codes from people who reported a diagnosis. If it finds codes that match, the app notifies you that you may have been exposed and explains what to do next. The app will link to up to date public health guidance for your area.

What to do if you test positive

You will get a one-time-key to enter into the app and you can choose to input it into the app. The app will then notify other app users that they may have been exposed. Your identity is not revealed and no information is shared without your consent. The app has no way of knowing your location, name, address or health information.

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