Alberta in late testing stage of voluntary contact tracing app

Apr 23 2020, 3:34 pm

The Province of Alberta has announced that they are close to rolling out their own contact tracing app to help combat the spread of COVID-19.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw made the announcement at the Thursday afternoon press conference, stating that the app is in its final testing phase.

Apps like the one being developed in Alberta have seen success in Singapore and South Korea, according to Hinshaw, and allow for the faster gathering of information as to where a potentially infectious person has been and who they have been in contact with.

“This mobile app will  be completely voluntary and will speed up the contact tracing that health officials undertake when someone tests positive for the virus,” Hinshaw stated.

“Albertans will have a choice about whether to download the app, and all information collected is stored within a person’s personal phone, not with the government. This app uses Bluetooth to note if you came into contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19.”

She also stressed that the app does not track anyone’s geographic location, and that the government has contacted the Information and Privacy Commissioner about it, and no concerns were raised.

“We expect it will be available to all Albertans within the coming weeks once the trials are finished,” Hinshaw said, “and I am excited to be able to share more details once it is ready to be released. “