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Thursday, November 30, 2023
Nov. 30, 2023

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Got COVID-19? Starting May 11, you can’t rely on Washington to notify people of exposure


The state Department of Health will shut down the COVID-19 exposure notification system on May 11, after more than two years, the department announced this week.

The department is still encouraging those who test positive for the virus to anonymously report it through the WA Notify app, but after May 11, people will no longer be notified of an exposure.

According to a news release from the DOH, the app’s notification system will disappear on the same day as the statewide public health emergency declaration. The emergency is ending because there’s a high level of vaccinated individuals and population immunity as well as available treatments for those with the virus.

According to the release, the app uses privacy-preserving Bluetooth technology to anonymously alert users they may have been exposed to someone with the virus. No location or personally identifiable information was collected or stored on the app, the DOH says.

After May 11, it will be completely up to those who test positive to tell those around them.

Since its launch in November 2020, about 253,000 people have reported a positive test result through the app, according to the release. That led to more than 2.5 million exposure notifications.

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