Ending: WA Notify app for COVID-19 and 511 for traffic alerts

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Going away May 11, 2023
On May 11, 2023 the state will end the WA Notify program which allowed subscribers to both enter information about their own positive COVID cases and be notified if they had potentially been exposed.

Since its launch in Nov. 2020, approximately 235,000 participants confirmed a positive test result in WA Notify, generating more than 2.5 million anonymous exposure notifications, preventing tens of thousands of COVID-19 cases, and saving lives. 

Washington was one of the first states to implement exposure notification technology and consistently had one of the lowest COVID-19 death rates in the country, despite also being host to the earliest known domestic case of the virus.
The State Dept of Health (DOH) says that "As the Public Health Emergency ends, high levels of vaccination, combined with widespread population immunity and available treatments, have significantly reduced the risk of severe illness, hospitalization, or death from COVID-19. These factors have also contributed to the reduced need for the WA Notify application."

Going away on May 19, 2023
Another notification program ending soon is 511

Starting Friday, May 19, Washington state travelers will no longer be able to access automated statewide travel information by calling 511.

For the past 20 years, the 511 phone number has provided a way to receive traffic impacts, crash alerts, current and future weather forecasts, mountain pass conditions and ferry information (schedules, fares and wait times) as well as reversible-express lane status.

So, why is 511 going away? Simply put, new technology has led to a dramatic decrease in the number of people using the service.

The 511 phone system is also expensive to operate, costing more than $150,000 a year in hard costs and requiring many staff hours to continually update travel information in the increasingly antiquated technology and to maintain signs about the program.

There are other ways to get travel information

If you don’t have internet or smart phone access

Contact WSDOT at the numbers below (you may also want to program some of these numbers into your phone or otherwise save them for easy reference):

  • Washington State Ferries’ information phone number 888-808-7977
  • Tolling information (Good To Go!) 866-936-8246
  • Amtrak Cascades 800-872-7245
  • Neighboring states 511 information
  • Oregon 503-588-2941
  • Idaho 888-432-7623
  • Local weather
  • Seattle 206-526-6087
  • Spokane 509-244-5992
  • Our Offices


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