The federal government’s COVID Alert exposure notification app has now surpassed five million downloads.
This new statistic comes as the Canadian Digital Service has acknowledged that some people are downloading COVID Alert on multiple devices, such as their work phone and personal phone, but that this can actually work against the purpose of the app.
The agency notes that to protect the integrity of a notification, one single one-time key is given for a positive diagnosis to be entered into one device.
So if you have two phones with the app, you’d have to pick which one to enter the key into. Due to this, the CDS is advising Canadians to only download one app per person, even if you have more than one phone. The CDS says that you should download the app on the phone you use the most when you leave home.
COVID Alert is currently fully functional in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island.
The app can be downloaded everywhere, but other regions don’t provide one-time verification keys with positive tests, which are integral to how COVID Alert operates.
British Columbia and Alberta are the only two provinces that have not yet signed on to adopt the exposure notification app, but Health Canada says it’s working with both provincial governments.
The app has recently been updated to send more precise notifications. There’s also a new option for people who’ve tested positive for the virus to share symptoms or testing dates in order to narrow down who receives a notification.