Nova Scotians who already have or are ready to download the federal government's COVID-19 exposure alert app will soon be notified if another user tests positive to the virus.
Prince Edward Island also signed onto the system Friday.
The app will allow users who test positive for COVID-19 to enter a code, supplied by the Nova Scotia Health Authority, into the app.
COVID Alert will then notify other users who may have come in close contact with that person for at least 15 minutes. The app will suggest how to proceed from there.
Nova Scotia held off on joining the program while health officials determined its possible impact.
Province can handle increased testing
Premier Stephen McNeil told reporters Friday the biggest concern was a possible surge in demand for COVID tests.
"A large number of Canadians have downloaded the app, but the increase in testing ... it's been about one or two per cent higher than what it normally would have been," said McNeil. He said the testing lab can handle that increase.
"We can do about 1,500 a day. We want to get to 2,500," he said. "So if there is a second wave of any substance, we can actually move in and test rapidly and be able to use our own lab."
Dr. Robert Strang, the province's chief medical officer of health, offered lukewarm support for the app.
"A lot of people are putting a lot of stock in that app, I think we have to have modest expectations," Strang told CBC host Amy Smith.
Strang said he's heard a lot of people saying the app "seems to be like a golden solution," but he said it won't solve everything.
"It's just simply an app, a piece of technology which is another tool in our toolbox," he said.
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