An official with the COVID Alert Task Force said downloads of the app, designed to warn Canadians if they are infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, are expected to reach five million this week.
Director-General Lucy Vignola said she was only waiting for data from Apple’s App Store to confirm the number.
Vignola said the new features in the app will provide a more accurate timeline when someone is highly contagious.
Once a person has volunteered to enter a digital code when testing positive, they have the option to indicate when they were tested and when they first experienced symptoms.
“Instead of going back 14 days to warn people, it’s going to warn people three days later (from symptoms),” Vignola said in an interview Monday.
With a population of over 35 million there doesn’t seem to be a lot of five million, but Vignola said they don’t have a specific gateway to meet.
“We are looking for as many users as possible, in the sense that each download counts,” he said.
He said the application, which costs nothing to download, is another tool against the spread of the virus.
I personally use this to protect my children and my mother because she is old, ”Vignola said.
The two provinces of British Columbia and Alberta have not yet come up with a Govt warning plan. The chief medical officer of BC said the application did not provide enough information to be effective.
My results came in negative this morning. Again, my thanks to our greatest health professionals. If you do not already have #CovidWarningDownload today and help stop the spread of this virus. https://t.co/XQSn3gkEjK
– Christiaan Freeland (f Gaffland) November 1, 2020
However, the release of the COVID alert was jointly approved by the country’s Privacy Commissioners because no personal information or location data was collected.
Vignola said privacy concerns prevented the province from providing a breakdown of use.
The application saw some real-time actions.
On Sunday, Deputy Prime Minister Christiana Freeland said on Twitter that she had tested negative after sounding a warning on her phone the previous day. Earlier in October, Commerce Minister Mary NG also tested negative after receiving the announcement.
A curling match at Kitchener-Waterloo was halted last month after a player received an announcement while on ice.