State debuts COVID phone app, new business loans

Dec 3, 2020
Written by wpengine

Washington State has added a new free smartphone app to its toolbox to help bring down COVID-19 virus infections. The state also has announced the opening of applications this week for $50 million in financial aid to help small businesses hurt during mandated closures and other restrictions during the pandemic.

The app, known as WA Notify, is available in 29 languages and works on Apple and Android devices. The state developed this tool in cooperation with the University of Washington, Apple and Google.

Round 3 of Working Washington Small Business Grants are available through the state Department of Commerce. Those interested can learn details here.

Governor Jay Inslee announced these developments earlier this week:

  • The state is beginning to accept applications for small business financial aid this week.
  • Applications are available for up to $20,000 in emergency funding.
  • More information on financial aid could be forthcoming in a matter of days. Businesses that already have applied for resiliency funding do not need to take further action.
  • Use of the WA Notify app is voluntary. It does not store or share personal information.
  • The app works by phones exchanging random codes. If a person tests positive for COVID and records a verification code on a phone using the app, anyone with the app who has been within 6 feet of that person for at least 15 minutes within a two-week period will receive an anonymous notification that they may have been exposed to the virus.
  • So far, more than 200,000 people have registered to use the app.

Click here to learn more including download instructions and for frequently asked questions about WA Notify.