Dr. Bonnie Henry answered questions Monday, asking why BCs did not actively encourage residents to download the federal government’s contact-tracking app like other provinces.
The COVID-Alert application uses Bluetooth to share anonymous ID codes with other users in the vicinity, and if someone who tests positive for COVID-19 notifies the application, it will notify everyone they have been in contact with for the past 14 days.
Provinces, including Ontario, have encouraged residents to download. While users in British Columbia can still install the app, West Coast health officials are not pushing it like in other regions.
Henry told a news conference Monday that the announcement of the application was not enough to be useful to British Colombians.
He wants to let people know the time they revealed so individuals can know if the warning is similar to the specific meeting they were attending.
Henry also said that the 14-day period would be too wide for everyone to announce. Although the incubation period for corona virus was 14 days, patients were not infected for the entire two-week period.
He said he was working with the federal government to try to make changes that would be most beneficial to British Colombians.
This application is widely considered to respect users’ privacy, although some experts predict that it may create unnecessary concern about false alarms on the lower threshold for an exposure notice.
In BC, human contact tracers still communicate by phone to patients’ intimate contacts, ensuring that there are appropriate places for self-isolation and self-care.