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What is contact tracing?
WHAT IS CONTACT TRACING?
Contact tracing means providing information, guidance and support to people who may have been around someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 to help minimize its spread.
WHY IT MATTERS
Contact tracing helps stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus by making sure someone who might have the virus takes extra steps to help protect others. In Oregon, local public health authorities use contact tracing to prevent the spread of many types of diseases, like measles.
HOW IT WORKS
Talking with you about how to prevent the spread of the virus, including staying home or at the location provided by public health until the danger has passed. This is known as “self-quarantine.”
Providing health information on how to care for yourself and others if you start having symptoms.
Sharing resources available in your community that can support you while you self-quarantine.
WHO DOES THE CONTACT TRACING?
The Oregon COVID-19 Contact Collaborative includes the Oregon Health Authority, local and tribal public health authorities, and community-based organizations working together to stop the spread of COVID-19.
HOW DO YOU HELP COMMUNITIES AFFECTED BY RACISM AND OPPRESSION?
OHA understands how important it is to meet the different needs of all people in Oregon. COVID-19 has impacted communities affected by systemic racism and oppression more than others.
OHA is working closely with community-based organizations during the pandemic to address the uneven effects of COVID-19. Community-based organizations help us understand, reach and respond to the needs of people of color, tribal members, people with disabilities, immigrant and refugee communities, LGBTQIA+ communities, and migrant and seasonal farm workers.
HOW DO YOU PROTECT MY PRIVACY?
We want everyone to feel safe when talking to a COVID-19 Contact Collaborative team member. Your information is strictly confidential and your information will not be shared with other agencies, including immigration officials.
WHO RECEIVES A CALL?
People with a confirmed positive COVID-19 test may receive a call from their local or Tribal health authorities who are working with the Oregon COVID-19 Contact Collaborative.
People who may have been exposed to COVID-19 by someone with a positive COVID-19 test may receive a call from a member of the Oregon COVID-19 Contact Collaborative.
WHAT QUESTIONS ARE COVERED?
County of residence
Date of birth
Contact information: phone number, email address and mailing address
Race / ethnicity
Any symptoms of COVID-19
Social Security number
Immigration status (Note: Information will not be shared with immigration authorities or law enforcement. Getting tested or getting treatment for COVID-19 will not affect your ability to get permanent residency in the U.S.)
Credit card number, bank account or billing information
If anyone calls you requesting this information, hang up. This could be someone trying to use your information for a scam.
WHAT TO EXPECT DURING A CALL
If you have a confirmed positive COVID-19 test:
A local or Tribal public health team member will reach out via phone and mail. They will give you information on how to prevent the spread of the virus, how to care for yourself and how to connect with resources in your community. You will be encouraged to self-quarantine for at least 10 days after symptoms begin and at least 24 hours after fever is gone (without using medicine to reduce the fever) and COVID-19 symptoms are improving.
Self-quarantine means staying away from all people, including household members and family. Unless you need to get medical treatment, do not leave your house until your health care provider says it is safe.
If you do not have symptoms, you will be asked to quarantine for 10 days after you tested positive.
The public health team member will:
Help you remember the places you visited and the people you may have been in contact with two days before you first became sick. Contact means being less than 6 feet from someone for at least 15 minutes.
Ask about people you had contact with, then contact that person but keep your identity anonymous.
Give them information on how to monitor themselves for symptoms, instructions on how to get tested if they get sick, and how to avoid spreading the virus.
Your information is strictly confidential and will be treated as protected health information.
If you have been identified as having had contact with a person that has COVID-19:
A public health team member will reach out via phone. They will let you know that you may have been exposed to COVID-19 and share information about:
- Symptoms to watch for
- How to get tested if you get sick
- How to prevent the spread of the virus
- How to care for yourself
- How to connect with resources in your community
Even if you do not have symptoms, you will be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days. After 14 days, the danger of your becoming sick will have passed.
During this time, they will be contacting you daily to see if you develop symptoms. If you do not experience any symptoms after 14 days, you can end your quarantine. If you do experience COVID-19 symptoms, they will help you get tested.
COVID-19 symptoms include:
Cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills
Sore throat or new loss of taste or smell
You can learn more about the Oregon COVID-19 Contact Collaborative and their work to stop the spread of COVID-19.