New voluntary contact tracing app available across Ontario, alerts users if they’ve come into contact with someone with COVID over the past two weeks

App uses bluetooth to communicate with other phones anonymously

Wondering if you’ve been in contact with someone who had tested positive for COVID-19? There’s an app for that.

Ontarians can now download a new app that will alert users if they’ve come into contact with a person who has tested positive for the virus over the previous two weeks.

Ontario is to be the testing site of this new contact tracing app. It is not yet available outside the province, but the federal government hopes to make it Canada-wide soon.

The app uses bluetooth technology to ping other nearby phones. If someone tests positive, they key in a special code provided by a public health official. The app will then send out a notice to any phone that has been within two metres for 15 minutes or more, so long as that phone has the app too. The notice will contain instructions on what to do next.

Downloading the app is completely voluntary.

“This important, made-in-Ontario COVID Alert app will be a critical part of our case and contact management strategy as more regions in Ontario enter Stage 3 today,” said Premier Doug Ford. “This innovative tool was developed by some of the best and brightest minds in our province, working in partnership with Ottawa. As businesses open their doors and schools prepare for September, we need to help stop the spread and keep others safe by downloading this COVID Alert app.”

Users can download the app from the Google Play Store, or the Apple App Store.