COVID Alert uses Bluetooth to exchange random codes with nearby phones. It does not use or access any location data. COVID Alert works by determining how far away other phones are by the strength of their Bluetooth signal.
Several times a day, COVID Alert checks a list of codes from people who tell the app they tested positive. You’ll get a notification if a code you received matches one of the positive codes.
If you test positive for COVID-19 you will receive a one-time key with your diagnosis to enter into COVID Alert. The app asks permission to share your random codes from the last 14 days with a central server.
Other phones using COVID Alert check the central server periodically throughout the day. If they recorded any codes that match the codes in the central server, their user will be notified that they were exposed.
COVID Alert has no way of knowing:
-your location - COVID Alert does not use GPS or location services
-your name or address
-the place or time you were near someone
-if you're currently near someone who was previously diagnosed
Provincial and territorial governments are working to support COVID Alert across Canada. In some places, people cannot yet report a COVID-19 diagnosis through this app.
It’s still helpful to keep COVID Alert on, no matter where you are. That way, when people are able to report a diagnosis, you’ll find out if you were near them.
COVID Alert was built by Health Canada with the Canadian Digital Service on the private exposure notification framework by Apple and Google.
Ratings and Reviews
Minimum IOS 13.5 of iPhone 6S or later. Not everyone has the latest iPhone all the time.
Developer Response ,
We appreciate your feedback - iPhones newer than 5 years and running iOS 13.5 are compatible with COVID Alert, as these phones support the Apple/Google Framework, which enables the app to detect proximity between two phones by introducing a low-energy Bluetooth feature - older phones unfortunately don’t have the newer low-energy Bluetooth technology that the app relies on. We remain in contact with Apple and Google to see what is possible to address these compatibility issues and ensure that even more smartphone users can access it.
Needs support for older iOS
I was able to download and setup, very easy process and I’m glad it’s finally here. But to ignore older iOS is dangerous. Many people have older versions of phones that cannot update, or they choose not to update for a variety of reasons. This app needs to be retroactive for older operating systems.
Developer Response ,
Thank you for your feedback. Canadians who do not have smartphones released within the past 5 years will not be able to use COVID Alert.
During this crisis, the government recognizes that not everyone will be able to use this application. However, this is just one tool among a number of tools to slow the spread of COVID-19 including wearing a mask, and physical distancing.
iOS 12 should be supported.
Want to protect the people? Support older versions of iOS.
I do think the app is good but I can’t download it on my device.
Developer Response ,
We're sorry for the inconveniences you've experienced with accessing the COVID Alert app. Phones newer than 5 years and running iOS 13.5 or Android Marshmallow are compatible with COVID Alert, as these phones support the Apple/Google Framework which the app relies on.This Framework enables the app to detect proximity between two phones by introducing a low-energy Bluetooth feature. Older phones unfortunately don’t have the newer low-energy Bluetooth technology that the app relies on. We remain in contact with Apple and Google to see what is possible to address these compatibility issues and ensure that even more smartphone users can access it.
Data Not Linked to You
The following data may be collected but it is not linked to your identity:
- Usage Data
Privacy practices may vary, for example, based on the features you use or your age. Learn More
- Health Canada
- 12.4 MB
- Requires iOS 12.5 or later.
- Age Rating
- © 2021 Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada | Sa Majesté la Reine du chef du Canada
Up to six family members will be able to use this app with Family Sharing enabled.