Saskatchewan

Fewer than 200 positive cases entered into COVID Alert app by Sask. residents so far

A total of 197 people have entered positive test results into the federal government’s COVID Alert phone app in Saskatchewan.

More than 2,000 known active cases in Sask. on Wednesday

The COVID Alert app is designed to notify users if they have been in proximity to another app user who has tested positive for COVID-19. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press)

A total of 197 people in Saskatchewan have entered positive COVID-19 test results into the federal government's COVID Alert phone app. 

People who test positive for the virus are given a "one-time key" to enter into the Health Canada-run app, which uses bluetooth to identify and alert close contacts.

A total of 5,422 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Saskatchewan since March. There were more than 2,000 known active cases in the province Wednesday.

The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) said it encouraged people to download the app when it was first launched in September, and again during a news conference in October. 

On Wednesday, the SHA posted a reminder about the app on its website. 

Health Canada says that for privacy reasons the alert does not provide a time, date or location of the possible exposure. 

Regina woman Krista Broda is among those who have received a notification about a possible exposure to COVID-19. 

Broda said she called the Healthline 811 for advice and was told to self-monitor for symptoms but that she did not have to stay home from work. 

She said not knowing an approximate timeframe of the exposure or the level of risk — such as how long she was exposed for — was worrying. 

"It just  drove me insane trying to wrack my brain to think of who it would be or where it was," said Broda, adding that she feels the privacy measures are too strong. 

"I think that knowing a date, narrowing down a date or even just knowing how far apart I was from somebody would make a big difference." 

Across Canada the app has been downloaded more than 5,000,000 times. As of Wednesday, positive cases have been entered into the system more than 5,000 times. There were 51,230 active cases in Canada as of Tuesday. There have been more than 306,000 since the pandemic started in March.

Health Canada does not release the number of times the app has been downloaded per province. 


(CBC News Graphics)

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