‘Contact tracing’ has become somewhat of a buzzword due to the outbreak of COVID-19. Contact tracing is done by local health departments when infectious diseases are reported like COVID -19. While some may simply ignore a call from a number that they don’t recognize, this could be downright dangerous if the call was from someone in Public Health Services informing you that you may have been exposed to COVID-19.
What do contact tracers do?
Contact tracers work at remote contact virtual call centers and they will always identify themselves as such. You can rest assured that any information you give them will remain confidential. The main task of the contact tracer is to track down any people who may have recently been in contact with a virus or infectious disease like COVID-19. They will reach out and inform those individuals what steps and guidelines to follow. This may include self-isolating to prevent further spread of the disease.
What to do if you have been exposed to the virus?
Tracers will call those who may have been in close contact with anyone infected. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, close contact is defined as anybody who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 48 hours before symptoms manifested themselves and until the patient was isolated. If you are identified as someone who has been in close contact and you develop symptoms, you should immediately isolate yourself and notify your case manager and doctor.
Contact tracing is only effective if all members of the public willingly work together with the contact tracers to help them with any necessary information to locate those potentially exposed to the virus. People that knowingly avoid contact tracers and who refuse to assist with information could find themselves in hot water with their local authorities.