Tue, Mar 28, 2023
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New virtual tool notifies exposure to Covid

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Gov. Jay Inslee, along with the Washington State Department of Health (DOH), announced Monday morning the launching of WA Notify, a simple, anonymous exposure notification tool to help stop the spread of COVID-19. By adding WA Notify to their smartphones, Washington residents will be alerted if they spend time near another WA Notify user who later tests positive for COVID-19.

WA Notify uses privacy-preserving technology jointly developed by Google and Apple and works without collecting or revealing any location or personal data.

"Secure, private and anonymous exposure notification technology is an important tool for Washington," Inslee said. "We've deployed WA Notify in 29 languages so as many Washington residents as possible can protect themselves, their loved ones and their communities. I encourage everyone to start using WA Notify today, so we can continue to work together to contain this virus."

WA Notify is free and can be enabled in iPhone settings or downloaded as an app from the Google Play Store for Android phones. Users can opt out at any time. Several states including Virginia, New York and Colorado are using this tool. Countries successfully using this technology include Ireland, Canada and Germany.

Coronavirus Continues
to Surge and Surge

As of 1 pm (EST) Monday, the United States had 13,421,114 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 267,080 total deaths, and globally there were 62,953,556 cases and 1,463, 349 deaths. The USA had already recorded 38,000 cases of Covid on Monday at 1 pm (EST).

Cases in Pacific County have jumped from 122 (11/4/20), to 159 (11/10/20), to 246 (11/18/20) and to 415 (11/25/20).

New infections appear to finally be falling in the Dakotas, two of the worst-hit states in the country. But the novel coronavirus is still spreading rapidly in most of the country, and even after new infections peak nationally, deaths will likely keep rising for weeks.

The United States is now averaging more than 1,500 deaths each day, and with the national case count still climbing, that toll is expected to get much worse over the holidays. Those deaths do not fall equally across the country. The virus is killing Asian, Black, Hispanic and Indigenous Americans at a rates far higher than for White people -- sometimes striking down multiple generations in the same family, and devastating communities of color.

Health, Dental Requirements

Gov. Jay Inslee announced additional requirements for health and dental facilities to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks last Wednesday.

"With the increase in COVID outbreaks in health care facilities, it is important that we continue to protect patients and health workers from contracting COVID in a place where they feel safe, especially as we see COVID activity increasing dramatically across the state." Inslee said.

Proclamation 20-24.2 amends the existing non-urgent medical and dental procedures proclamation to increase requirements on PPE use, testing of healthcare professionals, notifications of outbreaks and distancing requirements in non-clinical areas of health facilities. The proclamation, which goes into effect December 3, and remains in effect through the COVID-19 state of emergency.

Gov. Inslee had announced a four-week statewide set of restrictions in response to the recent rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus in Washington and across the country. The restrictions are statewide and took effect Nov. 16 and are in effect until Monday, Dec. 14.

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