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Quebec won’t ask population to use federal COVID-19 contact tracing smartphone app

MONTREAL — The Quebec government says it won’t recommend Quebecers download the federal COVID-19 contact tracing smartphone application — at least for now.

Eric Caire, minister responsible for digital transformation, said today the pandemic is currently under control in Quebec with the government’s existing health directives.

But, he says, health officials are still doing the groundwork to prepare to deploy a contact tracing app if it becomes necessary in the future.

The free COVID Alert app uses random Bluetooth codes, not location data, to notify users if their phones have recently spent time near the phone of a person who later tests positive for COVID-19.

Canada’s chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, said today that federal officials would like as many Canadians as possible to download the app, but that it’s only one layer of protection against the novel coronavirus.

Quebec Health Minister Christian Dube said today the province remains open to using the technology but wants more time to evaluate it and to address concerns in the population.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 25, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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