COVID-19 tracking app lets users know of possible virus exposure

Desiree DeCoste
Beaver Staff

Anyone looking for a way to track whether they’ve been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 well look no further, an app has been created to do just that.

COVID Alert, a Government of Canada app where people can report a COVID-19 diagnosis and can let people know of possible exposure before any symptoms appear, started in Ontario as the first province to adopt the app.

How the app works is by Bluetooth, it exchanges random codes with nearby phones and checks a list of random codes everyday from people who tell the app they tested positive. If someone has been in close proximity with one of those codes in the past 14 days, they’ll receive a notification.

The random codes, which the app stores and collects from a phone and nearby phones for 14 days, are only stored and used for the purpose of notifying users of possible COVID-19 exposure and cannot connect a person’s identity with the random codes.

A user’s phone encrypts the random codes and the user must give their permission before the phone will share the random codes with COVID Alert.

Use of the app is completely voluntary.

COVID Alert is built with a strong privacy protection and it’s extremely unlikely a person could be identified while using the app. The COVID Alert app takes extensive steps to ensure a person’s privacy and data are protected.

COVID Alert does not use GPS or track location and has no way of knowing a person’s location, name or address, a phone’s contacts, health information and the health information of anyone they are near.

Nobody will receive any information about an app user or the time you were near them.

The COVID Alert app is designed so health information stays with the user’s provincial or territorial healthcare provider. The app user’s identity and health status will not be shared with the Government of Canada.

COVID Alert is just one part of the public health effort to limit the spread of COVID-19. The Government of Canada asks everyone to use the app for the duration of the COVID-19 outbreak and to follow all public health guidelines in their area. The app does not replace manual contact tracing by local public health authorities.

COVID Alert does not replace medical advice. Anyone who gets sick is encouraged to contact their doctor or other healthcare provider.

The Government of Canada is building and continually improving the COVID Alert app in the open.

For more information on the COVID Alert app visit

For more information on COVID Alert privacy notice visit

To download the COVID Alert app visit


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