COVID-19 Update # 15 from the AFN Health Director | December 3, 2020
- Published: December 03 2020 16:45
Dec 3, 2020
Health Director Update
Please keep up to date with NS public exposure notices:
Coronavirus (COVID-19): download COVID Alert
COVID Alert is a free exposure notification app. The app lets you know if you may have been exposed to COVID-19. You can also use the app to let others know if you test positive without sharing any personal information.
Along with following public health guidance, you can download COVID Alert to help reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). The more people who use the app, the more effective it will be in helping to protect each other and our communities.
How COVID Alert works
- If someone tests positive for COVID-19, they receive a one-time key from their local health authority to enter into the app.
- The app uses your phone’s Bluetooth signal to detect how close you are to other people with the app.
- If someone you’ve been in close contact with (more than 15 minutes, less than 2 metres apart, over the past 14 days) later tests positive for COVID-19, you’re notified through the app that you may have been exposed. You also get advice on what to do next.
Your privacy is important
COVID Alert doesn’t collect personally identifiable information about you. The app has no way of knowing:
- your location
- your name or address
- the place or time you were near someone
- your health information
COVID Alert should work on any smartphone released in the last 5 years including iPhone 6S or newer (running iOS 13.5 or newer) and Android devices running Android version 6 or newer.
Download the app
COVID Alert is free. It’s available for iOS and Android.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): what to do if you may have been exposed
Steps you should take to monitor your health and protect others if you’ve been notified by COVID Alert or think you’ve been exposed to COVID-19.
Step 1: Watch for symptoms
Watch for symptoms. Symptoms can vary from person to person and in different age groups. Symptoms may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to COVID-19. To help protect others, it’s especially important to watch for symptoms if you’re going to public places, your workplace and settings where it’s difficult to keep a physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet) from others.
Step 2: Find out if you need a COVID-19 test
Complete a COVID-19 Self-assessment if you feel unwell or have any COVID-19 symptoms. You can call 811 for assessment if you’re unable to complete the COVID-19 Self-assessment online (or to speak with a nurse). If the assessment determines that you need a test, Nova Scotia Health Authority or IWK Health Centre will call you within 1 to 2 days to book the testing appointment.
Step 3: If you test positive for COVID-19 - notify COVID Alert
Self-isolate if you have tested positive for COVID-19.
You can also use COVID Alert to let others know if you test positive without sharing any personal information. If you test positive for COVID-19, Public Health gives you a one-time key over the phone when you get your positive test result. You will only get one key and it expires in 24 hours or after you enter the key into the COVID Alert app.
In the event that you are notified by Public Health that you have been exposed you will be given instruction by the contact tracing public health team on testing, self-isolation and any other requirements set forth by the Government of NS.
What is Contact Tracing?
Contact tracing is the process of identifying, assessing, and managing people who have been exposed to a disease to prevent onward transmission. When systematically applied, contact tracing will break the chains of transmission of COVID-19 and is an essential public health tool for controlling the virus.
Contact tracing for COVID-19 requires identifying people who may have been exposed to COVID-19 and following them up daily for 14 days from the last point of exposure.
As always, remember the best defense against Covid-19 and keeping yourself and others safe is to practice social distancing, Keeping your hands clean, cough and sneeze etiquette, cleaning and disinfecting and wearing a non-medical mask.