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Protecting each other

Help limit the spread: Memorial endorses COVID Alert app

Campus and Community

By Sandy Woolfrey-Fahey

Recently the province of Newfoundland and Labrador adopted the new COVID Alert app to help prevent the spread of the virus.

The app is designed to let Canadians know whether they may have been exposed to COVID-19.

Memorial is endorsing the app and encourages faculty, staff and students to voluntarily download the app for free to help protect yourself and others.

A link to the app is available in MUN Safe.

“The app is another health and safety control we have in our tool box to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” said Greg McDougall, Memorial’s chief risk officer.

“It is something we can all do to help along with the other prevention measures we’ve adopted, like physical distancing, handwashing and wearing our masks.”

How the app works

The app uses Bluetooth signals to exchange random codes with any nearby phone owners who have installed the app.

COVID Alert app

If someone you’ve come in close contact with later tests positive for COVID-19, they will receive a one-time key from their local health authority that they can enter into the app.

You and any others who have spent time (more than 15 minutes less than two metres apart over the past 14 days) near the person will then be notified through the app that you may have been exposed and direct you to next steps based on provincial public health advice.

Your privacy is protected

To safeguard confidentiality and privacy, the app uses strong measures to protect any data it collects and does not track a user’s location or collect personally identifiable information.

No information is shared without your consent. The Privacy Commissioner of Canada was consulted on the development of COVID Alert and supports its use by Canadians. Memorial’s Privacy Office also reviewed the app.

Kent Decker, vice-president (administration and finance) displaying his daily alert status.
Kent Decker
Photo: Submitted.

“This is a convenient tool in the palm of your hand to help keep you informed,” said Kent Decker, vice-president (administration and finance).

“As we move through this pandemic and resume more normalcy, it’s important for us all to remain aware of our potential exposure and take action if required.”

COVID Alert is available for download to all Canadians. The Government of Canada continues to work with other provinces and territories to bring their health authorities on board in the coming weeks and months.

The more Canadians who install the COVID Alert app on their phones, the better Canadians can limit the spread of COVID-19.

Download the app and help others use it, too.

Find out more here.

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