#Ontario; #CovidAlertApp; #MoreUsageOfCovid19App
Ottawa, Oct 20 (Canadian-Media): Ontario's second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is being hampered by the National COVID Alert app being used by just a fraction of Ontario's COVID-19 to report their infections.
Covid Alert app. Image credit: Twitter handle
Being used in eight of the provinces, with British Columbia and Alberta the sole holdouts, the COVID Alert app has been downloaded to nearly 4.7 million phones across Canada.
Figures provided by the provincial government show COVID Alert users have reported 1,354 cases through the app since its launch on July 31.
Dr. Barbara Yaffe, Ontario's associate chief medical officer of health said Oct 19 during a news conference that the number of downloads is promising, but not enough.
Out of more than 25,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported by Ontario since its launch means that approximately five percent have used the app to report their cases of Coronavirus infections.
Those figures, however, do not mean the app should be written off as a failure, according to public health experts.
With many good features and strong privacy protections, the app needs to be used in large numbers to be most effective said Yaffe.
"The COVID Alert app has been effective in supporting early detection, testing and self-isolation," said a spokesperson for Treasury Board President Peter Bethlenfalvy, who oversees Ontario's digital government efforts, in an emailed statement.
"The more people who have the app, the more effective the province will be at stopping the spread of COVID-19."