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City throws support behind locally developed COVID screening app

CommunityPass was announced in February of this year
mobile app
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The City of Sault Ste. Marie has thrown its support behind the locally developed COVID-19 screening and contact tracing app, CommunityPass.

The free app includes a number of features, such as "helping people to self-screen for symptoms, check in to locations to assist with contact tracing, and store COVID-19 vaccine documents and test results," states a news release issued today by the City of Sault Ste. Marie.

Developed by a group of local health care professionals, CommunityPass was originally announced to the public in February of this year.

Full text of the city's news release follows:

With Step 1 of the provincial reopening plan underway, the City of Sault Ste. Marie in partnership with My Community Health Inc. is pleased to support CommunityPass, a free app to aid in screening and contact tracing efforts.

The app, developed by a group of health care professionals in Sault Ste. Marie, has several features, including helping people to self-screen for symptoms, check in to locations to assist with contact tracing, and store COVID-19 vaccine documents and test results.

“For organizations, the app is used to screen and check in employees and visitors and provides helpful data for contact tracing,” said Dr. Lucas Castellani, an infectious disease physician in Sault Ste. Marie, and one of the doctors behind the project. “Additionally, an organization can house pandemic related protocols, policies and use push notifications to keep users informed. For general application users, in addition to the check-in and screening functionality, important COVID-19 related information including COVID-19 testing results and proof of COVID-19 vaccine can be stored in the app.”

Using beacon technology and Bluetooth, users can automatically check-in if they are in close proximity to a beacon with their mobile device. Community facilities with beacon technology include the GFL Memorial Gardens, Transit Services, Seniors Centres, Northern Community Centre and the John Rhodes Community Centre.

“We are pleased to work with My Community Health Inc. on this important initiative,” said Brent Lamming, director of community services. “As the economy begins to reopen, the health and safety of our community utilizing City facilities continues to be our top priority. The CommunityPass app is another way to support the great work of our public health organizations that have worked tirelessly to keep our community safe.”

Data from the app is stored on secure Canadian servers in compliance with Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). In the event of an exposure, public health professionals can access the information of who had checked-in to various locations to facilitate COVID-19 contact tracing. The app is also used for screening prior to entrance to various locations if required as part of municipal, provincial or public health regulations.

Participation is voluntary and only those who choose to download the app will be taking place in the program. The free app can be downloaded on ‘Google Play’ or on the ‘App Store’. For more information, visit