Gov. Jay Inslee spoke this morning at the Washington State Department of Health building in Olympia Wednesday morning, but some glaring omissions came out of video conference.

Inslee reiterated his position on the controversial Contact Tracing program, using words like "fun" in describing watching the process.  He also said CT has been done for years in WA and other states, which in reality is true. He said we are "replacing (the) blunt instrument of social distancing with Contract Tracing."

He also mentioned his desire to do what he referred to as "surveillance testing" or a broad spectrum basically testing "everyone" in a general area to determine reach of COVID.

However, previous use of Contact Tracing was confined to specific outbreaks and issues.  For example, if an outbreak occurred and believed or pinpointed to a school, or restaurant etc, officials would try to establish who was there during the time of the outbreak. Then the contacts would be traced outwards to find as many potentially sick people as possible.

In this use however, Inslee is proposing using a system on a much LARGER scale, even as he admits it. It would go like this:

  • Person A thinks they have COVID, they call the 'hotline' and get tested.
  • If they're positive a Contact Tracer will interview them, and determine everyone Person A has potentially exposed the virus to.
  • Then Contact Tracer reaches out to  those secondary contacts. As his charts indicate, those secondary people are placed in quarantine for at least 14 days.

Then it gets interesting. Inslee has not directly commented or said if the secondary quarantine is voluntary or mandatory. The ACLU issued a recent White Paper saying they believe all Contact Tracing programs have to be voluntary, or there is serious risk to a person's individual rights and freedoms---including Constitutionality.

During Wednesday's video conference, Inslee did NOT address the compliance issue, which has many people worried. He also did not elaborate on the compliance of his "surveillance" testing either. He didn't say if people would be 'forced' to do this.

He also hinted that moving towards Phase 2 and openings in counties might depend upon how fast and far they go with the Contract Tracing. He said counties will not be allowed to go to Phase 2 unless they grasp and move ahead on Contact Tracing programs and embrace them. 

To watch the press conference for yourself, click on the button below.

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