MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Department of Health sunsets COVID-19 exposure app WA Notify

May 11, 2023, 7:12 AM | Updated: 9:11 am

wa notify...

(Photo from Washington State Department of Health)

(Photo from Washington State Department of Health)

The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) announced Monday that its COVID-19 exposure notification smartphone app, WA Notify, is going away today.

The COVID-19 exposure notification app is scheduled to sunset Thursday, in tandem with the end of the Public Health Emergency.

Washington DOH announces end of free at-home COVID-19 testing

WA Notify was launched in November of 2020 and uses Bluetooth technology to let users know they may have been exposed to somebody who recently tested positive for the virus.

Approximately 235,000 people have confirmed a positive test result in WA Notify, generating more than 2.5 million anonymous exposure notifications, according to the DOH.

“We’re tremendously proud of what WA Notify was able to accomplish in a relatively short amount of time, and eager to find ways to utilize this life-saving technology again in the future,” said Dr. Bryant Thomas Karras, Chief Medical Informatics Officer at Washington State Department of Health. “We want to thank WA Notify users across the state for using this free, privacy-preserving tool to protect themselves and their communities.”

Research from the University of Washington and DOH has found in the past that the app is a lifesaving tool, estimating that the notification system has saved 30 to 120 lives and likely prevented about 6,000 COVID-19 cases in the first few months of its use.

DOH recommends that if people do test positive, to stop the spread by contact tracing and isolating from others.

iPhone and Android users may receive a notification on their phone on or after Thursday, notifying them that the app has been disabled. App users do not need to take any further action, although Android users can uninstall the app from their phones if they choose.

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Department of Health sunsets COVID-19 exposure app WA Notify