COVID Alert App Still Underused in Manitoba | Coronavirus

The app, promoted by the federal government as the flagship tool for containing the COVID-19 pandemic, was made available October 1 in Manitoba.

It is impossible to know the number of downloads for the app by province, but according to a provincial official, more than six months after its launch in Manitoba, as of April 22nd, only 1,573 one-time keys have been generated.

Meanwhile, 34,861 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Manitoba between October 1 and April 22. This means that only 4.5% of newly diagnosed COVID-19 cases received a key that the user could enter into the app to notify potential contacts that they have the disease.

Fewer people enter the key

In fact, the number of people who enter the received key is even smaller. Depending on the province, only 1,162 keys were entered into the application. This represents about 3% of the total number of COVID-19 cases detected between October 1 and April 22.

In concrete terms, this means that out of 34,861 cases, less than 1,050 were the subject of a report in an application that could alert you to possible contact incidents and thus facilitate tracing.

The province qualifies this low ratio by saying that not all keys have necessarily been issued to people who test positive for COVID-19, as some of them may have been created by the user accidentally or during training, for example

We encourage Manitoba residents to enter the provided keycontinues the provincial spokesman.

An application that becomes even more useful

Despite low usage of the app, Cynthia Carr, an epidemiologist at EPI Research Winnipeg, believes that the relevance of COVID prevention is heightened by the situation in which Manitoba finds itself.

The proliferation of variants has really made a difference in the province and more and more young people are being infected.

I think it is an even more useful tool now, especially given the changing demographics of people who have contracted COVID-19., she said.

During the first wave, those most affected were those who did not necessarily have cell phones with them.– she emphasizes, especially for the elderly in nursing homes. However, among young people, the rate of cell phone use is higher.

Cynthia Carr also spoke about Canadians’ insecurities about the app when it comes to protecting their privacy.

She analyzes that when it comes to using the most important part of an application, there is always a feeling of disbelief. There always seems to be anxiety about health information, perhaps a feeling of being trapped or blamed.

Health Canada, for its part, intends to continue developing the application. The emergence of new options of global concern requires the use of all the tools at our disposal, such as COVID Alert, to combat the pandemic., writes the official representative.

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