Manitoba government gearing up to support COVID Alert this week

The provincial government is encouraging residents to start downloading the app

COVID Alert app on iOS

The Manitoba government is gearing up to support the COVID Alert exposure notification app, as it’s urging residents to start downloading it.

Manitoba Health Minister Cameron Friesen told reporters on September 28th that the province will be providing more details about its plans this week.

“Now is the time to download that COVID Alert application. You can do that today, and later this week [the province will] be turning that on and allowing it to have effect [in Manitoba],” said Friesen.

“This doesn’t replace anything that we do conventionally in contact tracing. That work will continue to be the centre of the efforts going forward, to be able to make sure that we’re getting the knowledge of who has COVID-19 and who is at risk.”

The federal government launched COVID Alert in Ontario over the summer, and since then it has rolled out in Newfoundland and Labrador, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick.

The app uses Apple and Google’s notification API, which uses Bluetooth technology to share randomized codes with other nearby smartphones. These codes can’t identify users.

It’s worth noting that COVID Alert is not a contact tracing app. It’s an ‘exposure notification’ tool that can inform Canadians if they potentially became exposed to COVID-19.

Contact tracing is conducted by public health officials, which involves tracking down the individuals who were in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 by using phone numbers, addresses, and known locations where they travelled and other personal information.

The Privacy Commissioner of Canada has conducted a review of the app and has determined that proper safeguards have been put in place to ensure the privacy and protection of Canadians.

COVID Alert can be downloaded from the iOS App Store and the Google Play Store.

Via: CBC News