EDMONTON (660 NEWS) – The Alberta government has refused to adopt the federal COVID-19 tracing app, claiming the provincial version is adequate.
However, that no longer appears to be the case as it has been revealed the AB Trace Together app has only been used in 19 cases since it launched in May.
That amounts to just about 0.05 per cent of all cases since it launched, identifying only 70 close contacts.
The province has recorded over 40,000 total cases since the pandemic began this past spring.
Compare that to the federal app which has alerted the contacts of about 4,200 people who were diagnosed with the virus. meaning about one alert in every 1,200 downloads.
So far, the provincial app has about 260,000 downloads while the federal app has been downloaded over 5.2 million times.
Meanwhile, Alberta’s health minister is defending Alberta’s COVID-19 tracing app.
Tyler Shandro says he will use any resource at his disposal in the fight against the pandemic but he says Alberta won’t sign on to the federal tracing app, because it is not tied into the provincial contact tracing system.
The Opposition N-D-P says Premier Jason Kenney’s United Conservative government won’t use the federal tracing app because of partisan animosity towards Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
NDP Leader Rachel Notley says the province needs to put Albertans first, rather than trust a provincial app that is feeding very little information into a broken contact-tracing system.
The province has also backtracked on claims the app has worked properly on iPhones. It has had issues on the operating system since it launched and the government is now admitting this, saying it’ll try to resolve it.
Alberta and B.C. are the only provinces to not adopt the federal contact tracing app and it’s unclear whether they will start anytime soon.
–With files from The Canadian Press