COVID-19 contact tracing: what you can expect if you get a call

Updated: May. 18, 2020 at 6:56 AM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - For every positive case of COVID-19, there's an investigation. It's called contact tracing.

How often do you ignore calls you do not recognize? We all do it. Well, health officials say...
How often do you ignore calls you do not recognize? We all do it. Well, health officials say you may want to answer because a contract tracer could be calling you.(WBRC)

When someone tests positive the Alabama Department of Health launches an investigation, trying to figure out where they've been and who they've interacted with that might be at risk.

Once they narrow that list down, health department workers and medical students start making calls.

Some people are asked to self-quarantine. The generally accepted incubation period from exposure to showing symptoms is between a couple of days and up to two weeks.

So how do you know a call you get is legit? Dr. Karen Landers with the Alabama Department of Public Health says a staff member will never ask you for your social security number or any bank account information.

And if you want to call them back at their main number to verify their identity, you can.

Dr. Landers says they’ve contacted over 13,000 people.

“It’s a really good opportunity for them as young health care, pre-health care professionals for them to learn more about a virus they will be dealing without throughout their career. cause this is a virus we know we will be dealing with in one way or another,” Dr. Landers said.

Many of us don’t answer the phone if you don’t recognize the number, but it’s important to remember it could be a public health worker doing contact tracing.

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