‘We don’t have a timeline’: Federal COVID-19 tracing app still not available in Alberta

EDMONTON — An app that could help trace and prevent the spread of COVID-19 is not yet available in Alberta, and there is still no timeline for when it will be.

The COVID Alert app, launched by the federal government on July 31, alerts participating Canadians when they come in proximity to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. It has been downloaded almost 3 million times.

People in Ontario, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick and Manitoba can fully use the app so far.

When people in those provinces test positive, they are given a one-time code to submit. Other users who have been in close contact with that person then receive a notification.

All Canadians have been encouraged to download the app, which complements the manual contact tracing done by local health authorities.

Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw was asked about the federal app on Oct. 1 and said that it is only one piece of the puzzle.

“The federal app is something that we are looking to transition to but there are still some details that are being discussed,” Hinshaw said. “We don’t have a timeline on that at this time, those details are still in discussion but again, Albertans are still able to use the ABTraceTogether app and that is available for download.”

The province’s app was launched in May.

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