Canadian Government to End Use of COVID Alert App

Josh O’Kane, the Globe and Mail:

Ottawa is planning to announce the shutdown of the national COVID-19 contact tracing app this week, months after changes to PCR testing regulations in many provinces had rendered it largely useless across much of Canada.


The COVID Alert app’s death has been a protracted one. By several metrics, it did not achieve what it was designed to do. Only 6.9 million of Canada’s 38 million residents had downloaded it by last February – which is when Ottawa stopped publishing usage numbers – and Canadians entered only 57,704 codes declaring they had COVID.

COVID Alert is the national exposure notification app built on the troubled joint Apple–Google framework. This is not a success story by any measure, but it is good to see the federal government winding it down to prevent misuse.