Washington State Introduces Exposure Notification Technology to Prevent Spread of Covid-19 | By WA Governor’s Office | Washington State Governor’s Office

Notifica WA is a new, anonymous and free tool for smartphones

Washington State Governor's Office

Contact:

Estela Scarpelli, 830–776–2699, [email protected]

Amy Reynolds, 360–688–3189

Governor Jay Inslee and the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) today announced the launch of Notifica WA, a simple and anonymous exposure notification tool to help prevent the spread of Covid-19. By adding NotificaWA to their smartphones, Washington residents will be alerted if they are near another NotificaWA user and later test positive for Covid-19. Notifica WA uses technology co-developed by Google and Apple to protect privacy and works without the need to collect or disclose users’ location or personal data.

„Secure, private and anonymous disclosure notification technology is an important tool for Washington,” Inslee said Monday. „We’ve implemented Notify WA in 29 languages ​​so that as many Washingtonians as possible can protect themselves, their loved ones and their communities. I invite everyone to start using Notify WA today so we can continue to work together to contain this virus.

Data samples from three counties in Washington found that infections and deaths from Covid-19 were reduced even if only a small percentage of the population notified WA. Studies from Oxford University and Stanford show that the more people use exposure notification technology, the more effective it is.

„WA Notify complements measures Washingtonians are already taking, such as wearing masks, physically distancing and reducing the size of their gatherings,” said Health Secretary John Wiseman. „We’re excited to join states that are already using this secure technology and invite all Washington residents to join the effort.”

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When activated voluntarily, WA Notify phones use Bluetooth technology to exchange codes with other users’ phones nearby. This happens without revealing the identity or location of the users. If users test positive for Covid-19, they can enter a verification code issued by Public Health to anonymously alert other users around them in the past 14 days.

WA Notify is free and can be activated from the iPhone settings screen or downloaded as an app from the Google Play Store for Android phones. Users can choose to disable the feature at any time. Several states use this tool, including Virginia, New York, and Colorado. Countries using this technology successfully include Ireland, Canada and Germany.

Paul G. of the University of Washington. „People today are rightfully concerned about being tracked and putting their personal information at risk,” said Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering Associate Professor Stefano Tesaro. The method does not collect or store any identifying information. I plan to add WA Notify to my phone and invite my friends and family to use it as well.

Prior to launching Notifica WA, Washington State was recommended to adopt the technology by a panel of supervisors comprised of experts and community leaders on safety and civil rights issues. Affected by Covid-19. The team first reviewed an application developed by the University of Washington (UW) that served as a model for the technology used in Google’s Apple solution.

UW schools that contributed to the app’s development include the schools of computer science, medicine, public health and nursing. had their support Brotman Baty Company. The UW piloted Notifica WA with students in November to contribute to a successful statewide implementation.

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