Contact Tracing App to be Launched in Ontario


WINDSOR —  A new mobile app to track and possibly limit the spread of COVID-19 is expected to launch in Ontario on July 2.
Ontario government officials say the app, named COVID Shield, will help the province's contact tracing strategy ahead of a potential second wave of the virus in the fall.

The app will be an opt-in basis and completely voluntary.

It would notify people if they were close to someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

Speaking on AM800's the Afternoon News, Tech Expert Carmi Levy says he will download the app himself because it could save lives.

He adds the more people who download the app, the more effective it will be.

"It is a critical piece of the overall puzzle for public health to understand how the virus moves through the population and to limit the spread," says Levy. "Before there was a contact tracing app, contact tracing was and still is, very manual process."

He says putting an app on some your phone, which most people carry all tie time, can significantly automate the process and ensures a much larger percentage of the population is covered.

"It can save lives," he adds.

Levy says the app uses bluetooth technology and does not pull additional data from the phone.

"It is designed from the outset to minimize the possibility that your personal information will be compromised or shared in a wrong manner, they are assuring that privacy will be maintained from end to end."

Levy says in other jurisdictions that use an app, the uptake ranges from 20 to 40%.

In an ideal world, he says everyone would download the app.