Serving Franklin County, WA

Governor unveils virus notification application

Cellphone program uses time and distance to determine possible exposure

OLYMPIA — Gov. Jay Inslee unveiled a new cellphone-based coronavirus exposure notification system Monday.

During an afternoon press conference, Inslee touted the new "WaNotify" application designed in corroboration with University of Washington, Google and Apple.

The cellphone application is voluntary and uses Bluetooth technology to connect to other cellphones with the application.

According to the governor, users who are within 6 feet of someone for 15 minutes who has the application and is reporting the viral infection virus will be notified of their possible exposure.

"When you're out and about and use your cellphone, your cellphone can alert you if you've been in close proximity with someone who has tested positive," Inslee said. "It will alert people without having to share information."

According to Inslee, the application doesn't track possible exposure locations or save or share personal information.

Instead, the application generates random codes and an algorithm based on the strength of a Bluetooth signal to determine if notification is necessary.

"This system does not store any personal information. Second, it does not share any personal information," he said. "Third, it does not track your location."

Additionally, the application doesn't provide any personal information to developers or the Department of Health, he said.

"That means this is anonymous," he said. "This is a voluntary system. Nobody has to do this."

Author Bio

Roger Harnack, Publisher

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Roger Harnack is the co-owner/publisher of Free Press Publishing. Having grown up Benton City, Roger is an award-winning journalist, photographer, editor and publisher. He's one of only two editorial/commentary writers from Washington state to ever receive the international Golden Quill. Roger is dedicated to the preservation of local media, and the voice it retains for Eastern Washington.


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