Download COVID Alert today

COVID Alert is Canada's free COVID-19 exposure notification app. It can alert you to possible exposures before you have symptoms.

Available for iOS and Android

Download on the App Store

Get it on Google Play

On this page

How it works

  • The app uses Bluetooth to exchange these random codes between your phone and nearby phones.
  • Each day, the app checks a list of random codes from users who have informed the app they’ve tested positive for COVID-19.
  • The app will notify you if a phone was near you in the last 14 days from a user who informed the app they’ve tested positive.
  • The app runs in the background and won’t interrupt your activities.
  • Open the app once a day and keep background updates switched on and check them regularly.

Watch the video on how COVID Alert works.

Random codes and exposures

When you're near someone else with the app, both phones exchange random codes every 5 minutes.

The app estimates how close app users are to one another by the strength of their Bluetooth signals.

The random codes change often and can’t be used to identify you.

An exposure is recorded if you’re within 2 metres of someone with COVID-19 for 15 minutes or longer.

Each day, your phone gets a list of the random codes of app users who have reported a diagnosis. This is only possible when connected to the internet.

If it finds a matching code on your phone, the app notifies you that you've been exposed. It explains what to do next.

Your privacy is protected

COVID Alert doesn’t use GPS or track your location. It has no way of knowing:

  • your location
  • your name or address
  • your phone's contacts
  • the health information of anyone you're near

Nobody will get any information about you or the time you were near them. Learn more about how COVID Alert protects your privacy.

Provinces and territories where you can report a diagnosis

Which province or territory you live in will determine:

  • if you can get a one-time key
  • how you get a one-time key

Currently, the only places you’re unable to report a diagnoses are:

  • Alberta
  • British Columbia
  • Nunavut
  • Yukon

How to get a one-time key

You can get a one-time key if you’re diagnosed with COVID-19. The app uses this key to alert other app users that they were exposed. You can choose to upload the random codes your phone sends you.

App users can also enter details to help narrow down when they were likely most infectious. Those details tell the phone which random codes to upload. If the user chooses not to provide details, the app uploads the random codes from the last 14 days.

The random codes go into a central server. No other information is sent to the server.

Learn more on how to use the one-time key.

One-time key process by province or territory

Table
Province or territory One-time key process

Manitoba

If you test positive for COVID-19, your local public health authority will give you a one-time key when they contact you. You can only get one key. It expires in 24 hours.

New Brunswick

If you test positive for COVID-19, your local public health authority will give you a one-time key when they contact you. You can only get one key. It expires in 24 hours.

Newfoundland and Labrador

If you test positive for COVID-19, your local public health authority will give you a one-time key when they contact you. You can only get one key. It expires in 24 hours.

Nova Scotia

If you test positive for COVID-19, your local public health authority will give you a one-time key when they contact you. You can only get one key. It expires in 24 hours.

Northwest Territories

If you test positive for COVID-19, your local public health authority will give you a one-time key when they contact you. You can only get one key. It expires in 24 hours.

Ontario

If you test positive for COVID-19, you can get a one-time key directly from the eHealthOntario test results website. You may also call your local public health authority.

Prince Edward Island

If you test positive for COVID-19, your local public health authority will give you a one-time key when they contact you. You can only get one key. It expires in 24 hours.

Quebec

If you test positive for COVID-19, you’ll get a call from your local public health authority. You then need to call 1-855-228-4253 and ask for a one-time key. Don’t call unless you've been contacted by your local public health authority about your positive test result. Your one-time key expires in 24 hours.

Saskatchewan

If you test positive for COVID-19, your local public health authority will give you a one-time key when they contact you. You can only get one key. It expires in 24 hours.

Download the app even if your province or territory isn’t participating

If you live in a province or territory that isn’t yet participating in COVID Alert, it’s still helpful to download the app. It will notify you if you came in contact with someone from a participating province or territory who later tested positive for COVID-19.

A public health tool

Using COVID Alert for the duration of the outbreak is just one of the public health tools available to help limit the spread. The app doesn’t replace:

  • medical advice
  • manual contact tracing by local public health authorities

Always follow all public health guidelines in your area.

How many people are using COVID Alert

App usage in Canada

February 27, 2021

Number of downloads

6,336,286

Provinces and territories onboard

9

One-time keys used

20,270

Posters and videos for understanding the app

Posters and handouts to print and share

Get help with COVID Alert

Check the COVID Alert help page for answers to common questions and issues.

Share your story

Did the app help you make informed choices for yourself or your family? We want to hear from you. Contact us with details about your experience.

Building the app in the open

Learn how COVID Alert is built by viewing the source code. Also find out who is advising us on meeting the highest standards in public health outcomes, technology and privacy.

Follow us on Twitter

Follow the Canadian Digital Service and Health Canada on twitter for updates about COVID Alert:

Contact us

Before you contact us, check the COVID Alert help page.

Phone: 1-833-784-4397

Teletypewriter (TTY): 1-800-465-7735

Email: hc.AlerteCOVIDAlert.sc@canada.ca

Available for iOS and Android

Download on the App Store

Get it on Google Play

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