The Covid-19 App Explained

As all of Ontario is now officially in Phase 3, maintaining physical distancing, washing hands properly and often, and wearing a mask have all become the new normal. In coordination with the Federal Government, the Ontario Government has recently launched the Covid-19 App.

We are encouraging everyone to download this app as another tool that we can all use to help with the spread of Covid-19.

How it works

The app uses Bluetooth to exchange random codes with nearby phones.

Every day, it checks a list of random codes from people who tell the app they tested positive.

If you've been near one of those codes in the past 14 days, you'll get a notification.

More about how COVID Alert works

The app runs in the background and will not interrupt your activities.
Whenever you're near someone else with COVID Alert, both phones exchange random codes every 5 minutes.

The random codes change often and cannot be used to identify you.

What the video on how the COVID Alert app works:

What's an exposure?

The app estimates how near people are by the strength of Bluetooth signals.

If you're closer than 2 metres for more than 15 minutes, the app will record an exposure.

Getting a positive test

If someone with the app is diagnosed with COVID-19, they can choose to upload the random codes their phone sent. 

The codes go into a central server.

The server only gets the codes. It does not get any information about the person.

Looking for exposures

Every day, whenever it has an Internet connection, your phone will get a list of the random codes from people who reported a diagnosis.

If it finds codes that match, the app notifies you that you've been exposed and explains what to do next.

One part of public health

  • COVID Alert is just one part of the public health effort to limit the spread of COVID-19.
  • Follow all public health guidelines in your area.
  • Use the app for the duration of the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • The app does not replace manual contact tracing by local public health authorities.
  • COVID Alert does not replace medical advice. If you get sick, contact your doctor or other healthcare provider.

Your privacy is protected

COVID Alert does not use GPS or track your location.
It has no way of knowing: 

  • Your location.
  • Your name or address.
  • Your phone's contacts.
  • Your health information.
  • The health information of anyone you're near.

Nobody will get any information about you or the time you were near them. Learn more about how COVID Alert protects your privacy.

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