WA Notify screenshot

Use WA Notify to get alerts if you’ve been exposed to COVID

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COVID-19 continues to decimate our communities. One of the best things we can do to slow the spread is to understand who has the virus and isolate them and anyone they’ve come into close contact with until they are safe.

Fortunately, the Washington State Department of Health has released a smartphone app, called WA Notify, that helps us do just do that. It alerts users if they may have come in contact with someone with COVID-19. When you get alerted, you can help keep your family and community safe by quarantining and getting tested. The tool is only available for Washington State residents, but other similar tools are available in other states.

From Washington State Department of Health:

When you enable WA Notify, your phone exchanges random, anonymous codes with the phones of people you are near who have also enabled WA Notify. The app uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology to exchange these random codes without revealing any information about you. If another WA Notify user you’ve been near in the last two weeks later tests positive for COVID-19 and adds their verification code to the app, you’ll get an anonymous notification that you’ve had a possible exposure. This lets you get the care you need quickly and helps prevent you from spreading COVID-19 to the people around you.

WA Notify is based on Google Apple Exposure Notification technology, which was designed to safeguard user privacy. The system never collects or shares any location data or personal information with Google, Apple, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH), or other users. Participation is entirely voluntary. Users can opt in or out at any time. For more information about how user privacy is protected, see the WA Exposure Notifications privacy policy.

Click the button below to get more information on this new tool and to learn how to download the app.

Peter Schulte

Peter Schulte is the founder and editor of Kindling. Peter is also Senior Digital Engagement Associate for the Pacific Institute and the UN Global Compact's CEO Water Mandate, connecting businesses to sustainable water practices. Peter holds a B.S. in Conservation and Resource Studies and a B.A. in Comparative Literature from University of California, Berkeley, and an M.B.A. in Sustainable Systems from Pinchot University. He lives in Bellingham, WA, USA with his wife, son, and cat.

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