Statewide Contact Tracing Initiative
Updated July 31, 2020:
Inslee signs proclamation ensuring protection of personal information during contact tracing. Gov. Jay Inslee issued a proclamation July 30, related to the state's contact tracing efforts and personal information protection. Proclamation 20-64 exempts personally identifiable information collected by COVID-19 case investigators from public disclosure. The proclamation does not provide additional exemptions for employees or volunteers who are conducting the contact tracing work, as the Public Records Act already exempts many types of personal information relating to public employees and volunteers.
DOH believes the information was already exempt from disclosure but hopes the certainty provides people more confidence when communicating with contact tracers. The proclamation is in effect until August 29.
Inslee announced the proclamation during his media avail this afternoon. You can watch the avail on TVW.
On May 12, Governor Jay Inslee announced that the state is launching a voluntary contact tracing program. When someone tests positive, an interviewer will reach out by phone. They will ask who that person has been in close contact with, then reach out to those other people to let them know they have been exposed. Contact tracers will include members of the Washington State National Guard, Department of Licensing, and state/local health professionals.
Follow this link for more information about case investigations and contact tracing.
The information collected is only used by public health professionals and is confidential. It will not be shared. Contacts will not be told the name of the person who may have exposed them to COVID-19. These professional interviewers will ask about symptoms, recent exposure and demographic questions such as age, address, gender and ethnicity. The statewide contact tracing team will be trained and available by May 15.
Public facing businesses will collect customer information via a daily log. Information and protocols for reopening are being updated and released regularly. Click here to watch the Governor's press conference for more information.
“Privacy is the utmost importance. All data received and inputted is from the DOH’s secure database. All of this is voluntary. We’re only contacting people that have already agreed to be contacted and an individual can end the call at any time.” ~ Lt. Col. Steve Hobbs, WA State National Guard
A key part of the program is testing. King County Public Health now recommends that anyone with symptoms or who has been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 be tested right away.
Most testing is conducted through primary care providers, however, if you need to be tested and don’t have a provider who can do the test, call the King County COVID-19 call center at 206-477-3977. Open 7 days a week 8 AM – 7 PM.