The Government of Canada said the COVID Alert app is the next big hope in the fight against the novel. Coronavirus..
However, new statistics show that few people are using the app correctly, so slowing or limiting the spread of the app has little effect. COVID-19 (new coronavirus infection) (# If there is no character limit, add parentheses when it first appears..
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According to public health data, only 3.8% of the approximately 535,000 Canadians who tested positive for COVID-19 since the app was released can actually be exposed to the virus using COVID-19. Warn others about sex.
That is, 97.2% of people who could use the app to alert intimate contacts either didn’t have the app, couldn’t use it, or couldn’t use it properly.
“If you see a small percentage of the population using these apps, in this case less than 10%, less than 5%, they are essentially completely useless,” said Craig, a university infectious disease specialist.・ Dr. Genes said. Of Calgary.
Coronavirus: Trudeau begs young people to download the COVID Alert app
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said last summer when the app was released, it would help Canadians keep their families and communities safe.
Due to the surge in the number of cases confirmed in the fall, Trudeau urged people of all ages, especially young Canadians, to download the app.
“Young people need to download the COVID Alert app,” Trudeau said at a press conference on November 27th. “It’s a way to help your parents, your grandparents.
“It’s free, it protects your privacy, and it specifically helps you fight this virus.”
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This app was first released in Ontario on July 31st. In the next two and a half months, the app was activated in seven other states and one region. BC, Alberta, Yukon and Nunavut Territory have not activated the app.
Once the app is activated in a state or territory, anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 can get a one-time key. You can use this key to activate the app’s features and send contact notifications to people nearby.
According to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), the app has been downloaded approximately 6.3 million times. This means that about 79% of Canada’s approximately 30 million smartphone users do not download.
Why some states aren’t participating in the Federal COVID-19 Alerts App
Health Canada claims that this app is an effective tool for limiting the spread of COVID-19.
From early February, the government began collecting additional information from the app. This will allow health authorities to more effectively monitor the performance of the app. This includes a breakdown of the number of people in each state and territory who use the app, as well as the number of people notified of potential exposure.
These changes were made despite the initial concerns raised by the Privacy Watchdog and some politicians about whether the app could compromise personal information.
Global News has urged the government to provide newly tracked statistics. A PHAC spokesman said the information was not yet available and added that it would be released sometime this spring.
The government also said the app will continue to protect people’s privacy and the information collected is aggregated rather than related to individual users.
“Canadas can continue to be confident in the strong privacy and security measures built into the app,” Natalie Mohammed said in writing.
“New metrics are collected by aggregate. It is unlikely that the user of the COVID alert will be identified while using the app.”
Downloading and installing the app on your smartphone is the same for everyone in Canada. This can be done regardless of whether the state or territory has activated the app.
However, because healthcare in Canada is controlled by states and territories, the way people use the app varies from place to place.
The surge in cases puts more pressure on Alberta and British Columbia to join the COVID Alert app.
In all states where the app is activated, except Ontario and Quebec, public health authorities will provide a one-time key to those who test positive at the time of notification. Each person gets only one key and expires within 24 hours.
In Ontario, you can access one-time keys from a government-established online portal to provide test results. You can also access one-time keys by calling your local health authority.
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Those who test positive for COVID-19 in Quebec should wait for contact from public health authorities. You will then need to call the toll-free number to get a one-time key that will expire after 24 hours.
The percentage of people who test positive and use one-time keys to activate smartphone notifications also varies by state or region.
In Atlantic states, about 13.5% of people who test positive since the app was released have one-time keys active.
In Ontario, this figure is 5.1 percent. In Manitoba and Saskatchewan, it is 3.8 percent. And in Quebec, which has the lowest rate of all states, it’s 2.1 percent.
What about other states?
Everyone in Canada can download the app and be notified of potential exposures, but only those who live in the state where the app is activated can get a one-time key.
Approximately 205,000 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in BC, Alberta, Yukon and Nunavut since the app was first released. None of these people can use the app to warn others of possible exposure. Zero percent.
Considering British Columbia and Alberta data, only 2.8% of Canadians who tested positive for COVID-19 since the app became available in July sent COVID-19 to send warning notifications. I’m using.
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Global News has asked BC, Alberta, Yukon and Nunavut to explain why they haven’t activated the app and if they plan to do so.
A spokesperson for the British Columbia Department of Health said the state reviewed the app and determined that activating the app would make the work of local health authorities more difficult.
“British Columbia’s public health and contact tracing experts review federal contact tracing apps very carefully, and without supporting BC’s ability to track and identify COVID cases, federal apps get into their jobs. We have confirmed that we are adding significant challenges, “said a spokesman.
BC also said it continues to perform manual contact tracing and employs more than 1,300 full-time staff dedicated to this task.
Alberta, on the other hand, hasn’t said anything about whether it plans to adopt a federal app. However, the state has its own app.
ABTractTogether is a contact tracing app that connects smartphone users directly to public health authorities, unlike the federal COVID Alert app.
If a person with the Alberta app installed on their phone tests positive for COVID-19, local health officials will contact and allow access to data listing the phone numbers of all people in close contact. Will be asked.
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Health officials then use this information to warn people about potential exposures and provide advice on what to do next, such as whether to be tested, when and how to self-quarantine. I will.
A spokesperson for Alberta Health also said state apps cannot be used at the same time as federal apps.
“The federal government has shown us that both the contact tracing system app and its contact notification tool cannot be run at the same time,” said Alberta Health spokeswoman Shelleen Cow.
The Nunavut Territory said global news internet connectivity issues and unfair access to technology across the region have made it difficult to implement apps.
Meanwhile, the Yukon Territory’s Chief Public Health Officer said he did not recommend the app because it did not distinguish between low-risk and high-risk activities. “Unnecessary pressure can be applied to testing and contact tracing in the Yukon Territory.”
“There are currently no active cases, but given the small number of cases, this is not a priority for the region,” a spokeswoman said.
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