Just taking a call can save lives.
We can’t stop the spread of COVID-19 alone. We have to do it together. Social distancing is only part of the solution. The virus that causes COVID-19 spreads easily between people. To break the chain of infection, we’re calling anyone who has been exposed. The process is called contact tracing and it has been used to control diseases for decades. But you have to answer the phone for it to work.
How does contact tracing work?
It starts with people with confirmed or suspected infections. Public health staff reach out and ask about close contacts they’ve had during the time they may have been infectious. Contact tracers then call anyone who may have been exposed as quickly and sensitively as possible.
Contacts are given information and support to understand their risk and how to keep others safe. They’re asked to monitor themselves for illness and to seek help if they become ill. They may be asked to quarantine or isolate themselves.
The calls are confidential. Contact tracers protect the privacy of patients and contacts. They don’t give the name of the patient, only that they may have been exposed to someone with the infection.
What can I expect if I get a call?
If you have been exposed to coronavirus, you’ll be asked to stay safe at home and keep a social distance from others (at least 6 feet) for 14 days after your last exposure. If you have symptoms of infection, you’ll likely be asked to get tested. A contact tracer will check in during your self-quarantine.
How can I trust the caller?
Check the number. The call will come from 866-806-3447, MI COVID HELP or your local health department. You may also receive a text from 25051 prior to the call.
Who is considered a contact?
When it comes to contact tracing, there are two types of contacts—close and casual. The focus is on close contacts because they are most at risk. These are people that you’ve been in direct contact with (less than six feet apart) for as little as 10 minutes. Casual contact is anything outside of close contact.