Following a thorough review of COVID Alert, the Government of Canada has decommissioned the application effective today, June 17, 2022. The exposure notification service is disabled and users can delete the app from their devices.
The Government of Canada launched the national exposure notification application on July 31, 2020 – a critical point in the COVID-19 pandemic when cases were on the rise in Canada and around the world. Along with the public health measures in place at the time, COVID Alert provided an additional tool to help limit the spread of the virus.
More than 6.9 million people living in Canada successfully downloaded the app and did their part to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. And over 57,000 users who tested positive for COVID-19 notified others of a possible exposure.
While the pandemic is not over, the decision to decommission COVID Alert comes after careful consideration following discussions with provinces and territories on the ongoing evolution of public health programming that varies in each jurisdiction.
Furthermore, over the last few months, with less PCR testing across Canada, fewer one-time keys (OTK) were being issued and therefore fewer notifications of potential exposures were sent to users resulting in lower app usage.
The public health situation in Canada has improved. Case counts have fallen, and hospitalization and deaths are decreasing across the country. Following a successful vaccination campaign, 32 million (or nearly 90 per cent) of people living in Canada over the age of 12 have been vaccinated against COVID-19 with two doses. Canada also has one of the highest rates of vaccination in the world. We are now better equipped to manage the COVID-19 pandemic and reduce pressure on the health care system.
Vaccination continues to be one of the most effective tools to protect ourselves, those around us, our health care system and our economy. Everyone in Canada is encouraged to keep up to date with recommended COVID-19 vaccines, including booster doses. The Government of Canada will continue to work with provinces and territories to help even more people living in Canada get the shots for which they are eligible.
We encourage everyone to stay aware of COVID-19 activity in their local area, stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations, including getting booster doses, and continue to take personal precautions including staying home if sick, improving ventilation and continuing to wear masks when with people in shared indoor or crowded spaces.