(TORONTO, ON) The Province of Ontario’s new contact tracing app falls short of ensuring safety and creating jobs, says the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario.
“Techno-fixes that Ontarians are supposed to navigate on a voluntary basis are wholly inadequate replacements for making sure there are boots on the ground,” said Fred Hahn, President of CUPE Ontario. “We need to invest in people, not apps. The provincial government must immediately increase funding for local public health authorities and municipalities and support them in their role of leading this critical work on the ground in our communities.”
The app – COVID Alert – will notify individuals when they have had close contact with a COVID-positive case and direct them to self-isolate. Because it’s on a voluntary basis, however, CUPE Ontario is raising the concern that it will not be used on a wide enough scale.
CUPE Ontario’s recommendation would instead create jobs, both in recalling front-line municipal workers who have been laid off, and for Ontarians who can be recruited to do contact tracing. Rigorous contact tracing, as opposed to the use of voluntary measures like personal apps, is known to be an effective tool in the fight to flatten the curve, recommended by the World Health Organization during this pandemic and over the course of others.
With parts of Ontario entering Phase 2 of reopening, the need for widespread contact tracing is greater than ever, according to CUPE Ontario.
“We can’t keep lagging behind other regions. We need to immediately invest in recruiting and training people to keep all of us safe,” said Candace Rennick, CUPE Ontario’s Secretary-Treasurer.
For more information, contact:
Communications Representative, CUPE
[email protected] | 647-220-9739