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Recent UW and DOH study states WA Notify has saved lives

Researchers from the University of Washington School of Public Health and the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) recently announced they believe the Washington Exposure Notifications (WA Notify) tool has saved lives from COVID-19.

WA Notify is an exposure notification tool that can be enabled on smartphones. The tool utilizes Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) signals to exchange anonymous code amongst other users. The tool will send a notification only if a person has been near another user who has tested positive and submitted a verification code to the app. 

UW and DOH’s recent study finds WA Notify saved an estimated 30 to 120 lives from November 30, 2020 to March 31, 2021. Researchers also estimate WA Notify prevented around 6,000 people from contracting COVID-19. Over this four month span, which included the peak of COVID-19 cases in Washington, DOH reported around 200,000 new cases, over 8,500 hospitalizations and about 2,500 deaths.

Lacy Fehrenbach, Deputy Secretary for COVID-19 Response at DOH, stated:

“The goal for exposure notification is to help more people get the information and care they need more quickly so they can avoid spreading COVID-19 to others” 

“We are thrilled to see how well it has worked so far.”

WA Notify incorporates Google Apple Exposure Notification technology, which DOH claims is built to protect user privacy. WA Notify does not share any location data or personal information with other users or companies, according to WA Notify’s privacy policy.

DOH’s most recent update states there are currently over 2.05 million anonymous WA Notify users in the state of Washington.

Washington State is set to fully reopen without COVID restrictions on June 30, according to a statement from Gov. Jay Inslee.


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