VIDEO: Governor’s pandemic update, including newly launched WA Notify

Click above to watch/listen – Gov. Inslee is presenting a pandemic update with media Q&A, centered on the newly unveiled WA Notify app, which can tell you – without revealing anyone’s identity – whether anyone you’ve been near tests positive for COVID-19. He’ll also likely be asked about the state of the current restrictions, midway through the initially announced four-week period. Notes as it goes …

2:41 PM: He starts by saying he was on a conference call about COVID vaccines today, and distribution is expected to start soon. He asks providers to sign up ASAP – those who sign up by December 6th could be among the first to get supplies.

Then on to WA Notify. He stresses that the app is anonymous, not revealing or sharing identities or locations. It’s entirely voluntary to activate or download. He says 200,000 people already have downloaded or enabled since it went live this morning. So what does closeness – making you eligible for an alert – mean? It uses the CDC definition – within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more. But it’s “not a failsafe for whether or not you’ve been exposed to COVID-19,” he warns – it’s “another tool.”

Joining him is University of Washington president Ana Mari Cauce, talking about the UW’s role in developing and testing WA Notify, and stressing its privacy protections.

2:52 PM: Inslee notes that applications will open soon for the new small-business grants and urges businesses to be ready to apply via Then it’s on to Q&A. When will we know about a Thanksgiving spike? Probably not for another week or so, Secretary of Health John Wiesman says, while adding that hospitalizations are still increasing.

3:04 PM: More questions about the vaccines – yes, the state is still planning an independent review, but that’s expected to be quick; the governor says he has “more and more confidence” in the federal review. Secretary Wiesman says they’re still finalizing the prioritization of who gets it when.

In response to another question, he says there are no “imminent announcements” regarding restrictions, and the most important thing people can do is continue to behave safely. Regarding whether the restrictions will lift in mid-December or continue, “There’s no imminent decisions in that regard, nor can we make them today” – it all depends on what course the pandemic takes, and personal behavior can affect that in a big way.

3:17 PM: Back to the app. It’s a complement to existing contact tracing. For more on how it works and how to use it, go here…. And another vaccine question: The governor stresses it will take months of vaccinations before enough people are vaccinated “to break the chain of transmission.” … The state is seeking the Moderna vaccine as well as the one it’s slated to get first, the Pfizer vaccine, and expects to get both, Secretary Wiesman said.

3:36 PM: The briefing ends with the governor noting that WA Notify is another way to have some power over the pandemic. (The video window above should convert to the archived recording of the briefing soon.)

32 Replies to "VIDEO: Governor's pandemic update, including newly launched WA Notify"

  • Beepee November 30, 2020 (3:52 pm)

    Used the department of health website to try and find instructions on enabling notifications and or downloading the app. No luck , anyone out there got any pointers ?

  • AdmiralE November 30, 2020 (4:42 pm)

    New app but they still cannot “de-dupe” and process the data (per the DOH website update today) for over a week (since the 20th so 9 days ). “Data and science” only work if you can process the data to be analyzed.

    Amateur hour…

    • WSB November 30, 2020 (5:12 pm)

      Not related. The app is a private endeavor as noted during today’s briefing.

      • AdmiralE November 30, 2020 (6:53 pm)

        Everything is related. How much time and effort was used to harness the resources, opportunity cost for DOH etc.

        • Jethro Marx November 30, 2020 (8:48 pm)

          I agree, everything is related- which begs the question, why is Target selling Christmas cards when that time and energy could be used to clean up nuclear waste at Hanford? Right? You’re SUSPECT, Target!

  • Bob R. November 30, 2020 (5:40 pm)

    There is no app on the Apple App store yet.

    • A Dude November 30, 2020 (5:57 pm)

      On an iOS device you need to enable tracking in the settings. This article has the steps.

    • Beepee November 30, 2020 (6:12 pm)

      Thanks was wondering if I was going blind 

    • JA November 30, 2020 (6:29 pm)

      It’s not an app on iPhones.  Just open Settings and scroll down to Exposure Notifications. 

    • HS November 30, 2020 (6:33 pm)

      I think your trying to install? On the iPhone it’s found under settings as “Exposure Notifications”. Just enable to use.

    • Steph November 30, 2020 (6:41 pm)

      It’s in your settings menu on the iPhone. No app to install. 

      • WSB November 30, 2020 (6:47 pm)

        Oddly, it’s not on mine. Have even tried looking under the general “Notifications” setting. Is it hiding somewhere?

        • Hardtofind November 30, 2020 (6:53 pm)

          It’s on the main settings screen between emergency sos and battery 

        • mok4315 November 30, 2020 (6:55 pm)

          The Exposure Notifications are right under SOS on my iPhone. Here’s a pic. 

        • AdmiralE November 30, 2020 (6:57 pm)

          Likely either a device or iOS version mismatch. Showed up on my iPhone around noon (latest iOS, recent but not new iPhone)

          • Stay well November 30, 2020 (7:40 pm)

            Yes, I didn’t see the Exposure Notifications option either, but after downloading a software update (General>Software update), I now have this option.

          • WSB November 30, 2020 (8:02 pm)

            Might be my problem. I haven’t updated the software in a while.

          • Colby December 1, 2020 (1:10 am)

            iOS 13.7 and above is required for this. Current version is 14.2  

    • Bandana November 30, 2020 (6:50 pm)

      I didn’t have to download an app. A notice appeared on my iPhone asking if I wanted to activate it. 

  • psps November 30, 2020 (5:59 pm)

    The press write-up I read this morning about the Moderna product said, “Only 11 people who received two doses of the vaccine developed COVID-19 symptoms after being infected with the pandemic coronavirus, versus 185 symptomatic cases in a placebo group.” That sounds good except for the use of the phrase “developed COVID-19 symptoms after being infected.” That’s not really how a vaccine works. This sounds more like a palliative.

    While it’s nice to have some protection from the symptoms, you still want to avoid actual infection. Even those who are asymptomatic or experience mild symptoms can spread the disease. So no herd immunity would come from this as it does from actual vaccines for measles, smallpox, polio, etc. Also, just becoming infected will still make you susceptible to long-term heart, lung and neurological damage regardless of your initial symptoms.

    Maybe the write-up was just sloppy but it looks like it was taken verbatim from Moderna’s press release.

    • Peter December 1, 2020 (12:37 am)

      Lame attempt to undermine science public health by arguing from ignorance. Basically your lack of understanding is as good as the expertise of educated professionals, and misrepresenting the context of one sentence somehow proves your point. 

      • Jethro Marx December 1, 2020 (8:12 am)

        I don’t think anyone is undermining public health efforts, but there is an important distinction between a vaccine that prevents infection and one that prevents symptoms but allows infection. 

    • Aaron December 2, 2020 (2:00 pm)

      There is truth to this. All of the 1st round vaccines are NOT sterilizing vaccines like the polio or measles. They are more akin to the flu vaccine, in that they DO NOT prevent infection, but DO reduce symptoms by 90-100%. This means many less folks will die from the virus, but mask wearing and distancing will still be important for a very long time. Something like 80% of the population needs to be vaccinated before there is much “herd immunity”, and with as many people who refuse to wear masks what is the likelihood of 80% immunization rate?!?  People who have had the vaccine can still be infected, and will still be contagious, they will just be much more likely to survive the experience. It is desperately important that people take the vaccinations as soon as possible, and as widely as possible.

  • KayK November 30, 2020 (7:12 pm)

    Not seeing on my admitably elderly iPhone?

    • Vic November 30, 2020 (8:40 pm)

      It comes with the latest software update 👍

    • Steph November 30, 2020 (9:17 pm)

      Needs to be iOS 13.7 or above. 

  • Payback November 30, 2020 (8:43 pm)

    The Covid vaccine will not be available to anyone who drove the lower bridge (illegally) during the past 6 months.

    • Lower bridge rebel December 1, 2020 (8:23 am)

      Well damn, I’m definitely out!!! Lol!!!!

  • KayK December 1, 2020 (1:22 pm)

    Guess folks on a budget who don’t have the newer iOS will just be left to wing it!

  • Why Inslee, why? December 2, 2020 (3:42 pm)

    Regarding whether the restrictions will lift in mid-December or continue, Inslee says “There’s no imminent decisions in that regard, nor can we make them today”.This guy really has no clue what he’s doing. Claiming to base decisions of “data and science”, he continues to not actually follow the data and science. No data suggests retail needed to be reduced 5% in occupancy, yet he did that, alarming people into stocking up on things, and slowing business at non-grocery retail. Data also suggests schools can be open, as children don’t spread COVID like they previously thought, yet schools remain closed. He also allows people to protest, claiming 1st amendment rights, which apparently doesn’t apply to religion, even though it is also a 1st amendment right.He’s always the last governor to make a decision, always waiting to see what other governors do first. I wish we had a leader that made decisions for the good of all, and not just to placate their own ego.

Sorry, comment time is over.