Here's how to download Alberta's coronavirus contact-tracing app

Sep 25 2020, 2:57 pm

It doesn’t look like this pandemic is going away any time soon.

It has been over half a year since the first case of coronavirus was detected in Alberta, and in the months since, active cases have gone on something of a rollercoaster, with total cases reaching over 16,000 as of September.

The Province of Alberta created a contact-tracing app a few months back and noted in a recent release that roughly 243,000 Albertans have downloaded it so far — accounting for just 5.5% of the province’s population.

app

Screenshot of ABTraceTogether app

The more people who download the app, the better it works, as it uses your phone’s Bluetooth connection to determine if you’ve spent a certain amount of time around someone who has tested positive and also has the app.

“Your phone securely logs when you have been in close contact with other app users,” the app’s opening page states.

“If you were in close contact wit someone who later tests positive with COVID-19, you will receive a call from Alberta Health Services.”

app

Screenshot of ABTraceTogether app

The app then brings the user to a disclaimer about the collection of information, which states that any information collected would be non-identifying, with only an anonymized User ID being used.

You then punch in your phone number, which will prompt an automatic text to your phone with a code, which you’ll put into the next page. Once submitted, you’ll need to enable the app to access Bluetooth, Location Permissions, and Optimize Usage on your phone, noting that “Android needs Location Permissions for Bluetooth to work. We don’t track your physical location.”

Once the app is fully loaded onto your phone, it will remain aware of other ABTraceTogether app users that you may come into contact with, and if any of those users get a positive coronavirus test result in the following weeks, you’ll be contacted by Alberta Health Services.

The app’s help section notes that Bluetooth must remain turned on for the app to work.

The ABTrace Together app is available through both the Android and iPhone app stores.

More information on the app can be found at the Province of Alberta’s website.

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