Republican lawmakers voice concerns regarding Gov. Inslee’s contact tracing plan

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OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Gov. Jay Inslee on Tuesday discussed a new strategy in fighting against COVID-19, but some lawmakers have concerns about the new plan.

Inslee says the contact tracing initiative will help to re-open the state’s economy.

“We think of this is as a smart weapon against this virus,” he said

The goal is to box-in the virus.

A more than 1,300 person team, including members of the National Guard, will reach out to folks who test positive for COVID-19, and the people they have come in contact with.

Then, the goal is to quarantine those people for the length of the virus.

Some Republican lawmakers tell Q13 News they have concerns with this plan.

“So many questions left hanging by Governor Inslee today. When you’re talking about a drastic action that is set to take effect very quickly in Washington State,” said state Sen. Doug Ericksen.

State Rep. Drew MacEwen questions why lawmakers are being left out of the decision process.

“I’m disappointed because, once again, the governor is putting out a major policy during this crisis and has not included the legislature,” said MacEwen.

It's a divisive topic for the people of Washington too.

More than 2,000 people commented on Q13’s Facebook page, representing both sides of the debate.

Officials with the governor’s office say people can voluntarily choose to share, or not share, their information.

The hope is people choose to comply and help stop the spread of the virus, officials say.

Inslee says privacy is a large focus of this initiative, and there are measures in place to make sure people’s information is kept safe. He says you will not be asked about immigration status, social security numbers, financial information or marital status.

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