Canada will be shutting down the COVID Alert app and may do so as early as this week, government sources have told CBC News.
The sources spoke to CBC News on the condition they not be named because they’re not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. The Globe and Mail first reported the news.
The phone app, which was launched in the summer of 2020, is designed to alert users to possible COVID-19 exposure. Users who have tested positive for the virus use a one-time key on the app to report their diagnoses. Their phones then exchange codes with other phones that have the app installed, and notify those who have been within two metres of an infected person for 15 minutes or longer.
The app cost $20 million. Most of that money—$15.9 million—was spent on promotion and advertising, while $3.5 million went to developing and maintaining the app.
The Canadian government encouraged use of the app throughout the pandemic.