Despite the fact that British Columbia is classified as a “ fast growing ” province for COVID-19 cases, the British Columbia government does not intend to use text alerts or adopt the COVID alert app for exposure notifications, based on a report from CTV News.
During a modeling briefing in Ottawa, Canada’s director of public health, Dr. Theresa Tam, revealed that per capita infection rates in British Columbia are on par with those of the worst-hit provinces in Canada, and that COVID cases nationwide quadruple. to 20,000 per day by the end of December if no preventive measures are taken.
When CTV News asked the British Columbia Ministry of Health if the government had any plans to use the province’s emergency alert system to spread awareness in areas at high risk of infection, and received a negative response.
“At this time, our government does not believe that an intrusive broadcast alert is necessary,” reads an email sent to CTV News by Emergency Management BC.
“While the Alert Ready system is useful in a situation where public safety depends on immediate notification, the alert system only reports at a certain time. The province has been providing regular information as the situation continually evolves. Communication of the orders has also been done through a variety of channels, including the media, road signs, social media, online content, stakeholders and community leaders. “
The email from Emergency Management BC conflicts with what British Columbia Prime Minister John Horgan said about most people not paying attention to government briefings or messages in the media, and that it is necessary to establish alternative and urgent lines of communication.
“We need to find… strategies to embrace and interact with those people who are not hearing this message. We are always looking for strategies, ”said the prime minister.
However when CTV News investigated the British Columbia government (twice) to find out if they intended to adopt the COVID alert app, but received no response. the The BC government still has no intention to add support for COVID Alert, sadly.
While Alberta has employed its own problematic contact tracing app: ABTrace Together – instead of the COVID alert app, British Columbia continues to insist on hiring people for contact tracing instead.
Canada’s COVID alert app is based on Google and Apple’s exposure notification framework, which leverages Bluetooth on devices for anonymous background “handshakes”. The application does not use GPS information or collect user data. It has been vetted as safe by the Canadian Privacy Commissioner and their provincial counterparts.
When someone tests positive for COVID-19, you can anonymously alert other people who may have been in contact using the COVID Alert, obtaining a one-time use from the provincial health authority.
Provinces that currently support the COVID alert:
- New brunswick
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- New Scotland
- Prince edward island
- British columbia
- Northwest Territories
As of Nov. 19, COVID Alert has been downloaded 5.3 million times, with 5,412 people voluntarily entering single-use keys, according to the federal government.