This seems like a fitting topic for my last blog post of the year.
In late September, I posted about being tagged by the Covid Alert App, namely being notified that within the previous 14 days I had spent 15 minutes or more within 6 feet of someone who had reported (s)he had tested positive.
It happened again this week. Last Monday I received the same notice that I had been exposed – according to that definition – to someone who reported that they had tested positive. I was able to make an appointment to be tested the next day and by the following morning my test came back negative. Big sigh of relief! And no cost out-of-pocket.
Of course, I started to think back about my movements over the previous two weeks. I had been in contact with several health professionals, but in each case both they and I were masked, and usually they wore face shields. Furthermore, if a health care professional contracts Covid – 19, the responsible thing for them to do would be to contact the clients they dealt with. No health care professional contacted me, so I’m assuming none of them tested positive.
I can think of two other occasions where I might have had a contact that the app registered. I was at a specimen collection clinic at a hospital and waited for a short time, but the waiting room was almost empty. Second, I went to the liquor store.
So I am at a loss to understand why I was notified. The part of Toronto in which I live, Don Mills, has a very low incidence of Covid – 19. While use of the app is growing with 5.9 million downloads to date in Canada, it is by no means universal. In Ontario, there have been a total of over 7000 alerts since the app was launched, with approximately 150 daily in the entire province in each of the last few days. That is not a huge number, and it almost feels that the proverbial needle in a haystack pricked my finger. These observations assume that, in my case, the app is working correctly and that my notification was not a “false positive.”
… And Going Forward
For now, I will assume the notification was not a false positive. I will continue to use the app. I will continue having as little contact as possible with people outside my household. I will continue to mask up whenever I leave the house. And I will continue to wait for the vaccine. Here’s to a better New Year!