An app to learn more about COVID-19, transmission risks in their community and testing is now open in Saskatchewan.
Starting September 18th, the Health Canada COVID Alert App is open to the province’s residents. Once downloaded to someone’s smartphone, the app can send them digital COVID-19 exposure alerts. The app uses Bluetooth technology to detect when users are near each other. The Government says it does not track anything else, such as personal information and health data or the location, name, address or contacts of any user.
On a fully voluntary basis, people who test positive for COVID-19 can also use the app to warn others about possible exposure. When someone is confirmed as having COVID-19, they will be given a one-time digital key number.
When this number is entered into the app, it lets others who have been within two meters of the positive person for at least 15 minutes of a day within the last 14 days. People who get this exposure alert can then use the app to check their COVID-19 risk and seek testing.
The app is free of charge and available on both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. It will not replace contact tracing investigations, however. If people are positively diagnosed or have been in contact with someone who has, they will still be called.
People are also being told by Public Health to continue other COVID-19 prevention methods like frequent handwashing, disinfecting high traffic areas and items. They add to maintain physical distancing, wearing a mask and staying home if they’re sick.