Alberta abandons COVID-19 tracking app in favour of federal app

Marco Green
August 10, 2020

Alberta will adopt the federal government's COVID-19 notification app after months of struggles with its provincial version.

Alberta was the first jurisdiction in Canada to release a smartphone app created to track potential exposure to the coronavirus.

The software uses Bluetooth technologies to ascertain if a user has arrive into speak to with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, and notify them, so they can self-isolate and avoid even further unfold of the virus.

Ottawa recently released its COVID Alert app in Ontario with plans to roll it out in other provinces.

In mid-July, Leading Jason Kenney accused the federal governing administration of preventing Alberta from doing the job with Apple and Google to resolve the app's issues.

The move, first reported by the Globe and Mail, was confirmed to CBC News by a spokesperson for the province's health minister on Saturday.

In the end, only 5 per cent of Albertans downloaded the app, and the province said at least 20 per cent had to for it be effective.

"We recognize and accept that Canada is moving to a national tracing app", Mr. Buick wrote in an e-mail.

Alberta's app has about 234,000 active users, and Mr. Buick said the province's priority now is to ensure they are able to "seamlessly" switch over to COVID Alert.

COVID Alert launched in Ontario on July 31 after weeks of delays.

But the app had some problems, for it to work on an iPhone, the phone had to be unlocked and the app open. The federal privateness commissioner's office environment was consulted on its development.

The site also states that COVID Inform is voluntary, and does not keep track of a user's spot or acquire particular info.

Alberta's contact tracing mobile app, ABTraceTogether, was unveiled on May 1. The app would then notify people that person came into contact with - without telling the users who the person was who tested positive. The data can not be used to identify a particular user, and contact tracers do not get involved in the notification process. If two people are within two metres of each other for more than 15 minutes, the app records a potential exposure.

It uses Bluetooth technology, and runs in the background of a phone.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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