Exposure Notifications for Home COVID-19 Test Results> Washington State Department of Health
For immediate release: December 22, 2021 (21-254)Spanish
Contact: Communication from the Ministry of Health
WA Notify Adds New Feature: Exposure Notifications for Home COVID-19 Test Results
OLYMPIA – Washington’s exposure notification app is launching a new feature that will allow those who test positive for COVID-19 with a home test to anonymously notify others of potential exposure. The new feature increases the number of people who can benefit from WA Notify’s exposure notifications, as it increases the number of tests used to inform others.
From the start, those who receive a positive test result from a lab automatically receive verification codes for positive tests reported to the DOH. Now, with this new feature, those who take a home test can also get a verification code if they are positive.
Verification codes can be requested by following simple instructions in the WA Notify app. For iPhone users, exposure notifications can be found in settings. They will select the option to share a COVID-19 diagnosis and indicate that they have not received a code. Android users should open the WA Notify app, choose to share a test result, and need a code. Both apps will ask for the user’s phone number and positive test date, then a code will be sent to them. No personal or location information is shared. Once a user enters their verification code, other WA Notify users who have been near them in the last 14 days can be alerted anonymously and take appropriate action.
Users should then contact the DOH COVID-19 hotline at 1-800-525-0127, then press #, to report a positive result of an over-the-counter test.
“Slowing the spread of COVID-19 depends on early notification to close contacts of all those who test positive for the virus,” said Tao Kwan-Gett, MD, scientific director for Washington state. “By including the ability to request verification codes for positive home tests, more people can be notified earlier so they can take action to protect themselves and others.”
WA Notify is a free exposure notification tool that runs in the background on smartphones which has enabled the app to alert users that they may have been exposed to COVID-19. It works without sharing any personal information, including where and when the exposure occurred. When two phones using WA Notify are close to each other, they exchange random anonymous codes using Bluetooth. If a WA Notify user later tests positive for COVID-19 and adds their verification code in the app, the phone will send an anonymous exposure notification to the phones of other WA Notify users who they were close to and who might. to have been exposed. Users can then take necessary actions, such as testing and quarantine, to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Since the DOH launched the app in November 2020, more than 2.75 million people have activated the service over the phone, representing nearly 45% of all smartphone users in the state. WA Notify can be enabled in iPhone settings (iPhone 5s or newer using iOS 12.5 or higher) or downloaded as an app from the Google Play Store for Android phones. Users can unsubscribe at any time. WA Notify is available in over 30 languages so that as many Washington residents as possible can access this tool.
Visit the WA Notify page for more information on how the exposure tool works and how to activate the service on your phone. Learn more about COVID-19 on the DOH coronavirus page.
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