Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland revealed on Twitter Saturday that she has been tested for COVID-19 and is isolating at home after receiving an exposure notification from Canada’s COVID Alert app.
Freeland’s office would not provide further details but reiterated that she would remain in isolation until she receives the results of her test.
Today, I had a COVID-19 test after I received a notification from the COVID Alert app. I am isolating at home while I wait for the results of the test. My thanks to our excellent health care professionals.
In a follow-up tweet, Freeland encouraged Canadians to make use of the exposure notification app, which allows people to report a positive test result. The app was launched at the end of July and was initially designed to send alerts to all users who were in extended close contact with an infected person over the past 14 days
There have been about 4.9 million downloads of the federal COVID-19 exposure notification app so far, with 2,939 Canadians using it to log a positive coronavirus test. Alberta and British Columbia are the final two provinces that have yet to activate the app.
On Friday, the federal government announced that the app had been updated to allow users reporting a positive result to input their testing date or the date their symptoms first began.
“Importantly, the COVID Alert app can now notify users of potential exposure to cases during the time period when the people who tested positive were most infectious,” Health Canada wrote in a statement. “This will align more closely with current public health guidance, as individuals are likely to be most infectious from two days prior to symptom onset for symptomatic individuals.”
The new features are optional, and the additional data will not be shared with the government or anyone else, the department said.