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In this issue, we talk about where you can download COVID Alert, how it was built, and how you can get involved to help us improve its usability and accessibility.

A hand holding up a phone, with text that reads, “Download the COVID Alert app.”

COVID Alert now available for download

Last month we launched COVID Alert - the Government of Canada’s free exposure notification app. The app can let people know of possible exposures before any symptoms appear, all the while protecting your privacy. It’s just one part of the public health effort to limit the spread of COVID-19 and prevent future outbreaks.

Who can use it?

Ontario is the first province where people can use COVID Alert to report a COVID-19 diagnosis, but even if you’re outside Ontario, it's still helpful to download the app. That way, when people in your area are able to report a diagnosis, you'll be notified if you were near them.

COVID Alert uses the Apple-Google Exposure Notifications framework to allow Bluetooth to estimate distance from other phones. The framework is currently only available on the following operating systems:

  • iOS 13.5 and 13.6
  • Android 6 and up

 

Three people working to improve the COVID Alert application.

How COVID Alert was built

Forty-five days before it launched, the Prime Minister announced the development of a nationwide exposure notification app to help Canadians stay safe and reduce the spread of COVID-19. 

In those 45 days, we partnered across jurisdictions and sectors to build, test, and iterate on what is now the COVID Alert app. 

Read our blog to learn how we got to launch day, and how we’ll keep improving the app to ensure it’s accessible, reliable, secure, and user-friendly!

 

Help us improve COVID Alert

We want to make government services, including COVID Alert, better for everyone. But we need your help. 

We’re looking to talk to people who represent the diversity across Canada to test the app and share their feedback with us. All people in Canada, including healthcare workers and people using assisted devices, are welcome to join! 

After you sign up to participate, we’ll contact you when you’ve been selected to take part in the next round of testing.
 

In the community:

The Digital Government Atlas 2.0
Apolitical

FWDThinking Series 
FWD50 and Canada School of Public Service 

State of Digital Government
Institute on Governance, Sept. 11

COVID-19 Learning Resources 
Canada School of Public Service

Work with us!

We're hiring for a: 

  • Senior Developer

  • Senior Design Researcher  

If you think one of these could be you, apply to join the team!

We want to hear from you, eh?

What parts of this newsletter did you like most? Is there anything you'd like to see that we haven't talked about?  Let us know.

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CDS GitHub Repo
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