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COVID Alert app now available in Ontario

The app is voluntary and can be downloaded through the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store
Screen Shot 2020-07-31 at 9.26.51 AM
The COVID Alert app is now available to download onto smartphones. (Photo/Apple App Store)

Canada’s COVID Alert app is now available only in Ontario — for now.

The app’s purpose is to help stop the spread of the virus, although it is not mandatory.

Ontario is the first to test out the app and if all goes well, it will roll out across Canada. 

The app can be downloaded on Google's Play Store and Apple's App Store

The app uses Bluetooth to exchange random code with nearby phones, the product description says. It adds that it does not use or access any location data and works by determining how far away other phone nearby the strength of their signal. 

The app then checks a list of codes from people several times a day from people who tell the app they’ve tested positive. You’ll get a notification if a code you got matches one of the positive codes. 

The app so far has gotten a 4.7 rating based on 12 reviews on Google’s Play Store and a 4.3 rating based on 23 reviews on Apple’s App Store.

The app was designed by Ottawa e-commerce business Shopify. It has also been backed by the federal government.

The product says no personal data will be collected.