LDH says tracers reach about 60% of people with positive cases
NEW ORLEANS, La. (WDSU) — If you tested positive for COVID-19, researchers with the Office of Public Health are hoping to speak with you over the phone.
Contact tracing has been ramped up in the last couple of weeks in Louisiana as positive cases continue to trend upward. Tracers will call those who have tested positive to see who they have been in close contact with in an effort to stop community spread. Health officials tell WDSU they have been able to get a response from only 60% of the people they call to ask about their positive tests – many of them in fear of answering an unknown number, receiving a spam call or being asked to provide sensitive information.
“All of the information that’s given is held under the strictest HIPPA compliance security,” says Dr. Omar Khalid, Chief of Staff at Office of Public Health. “It’s never shared with anyone. The person who may have exposed you…their identity will never be revealed to you.”
Dr. Khalid also wants to remind people that contact tracing has been around for decades – a process used to treat and prevent tuberculosis and other infectious diseases in Louisiana and across the United States.
If you do get a call from the Office of Public Health, it will always be from this toll-free number: 1-877-776-2130.
Tracers will always clearly identify themselves, and only ask about information related to your COVID-19 infection. They may also use text message or email as a form of communication.
By: Sherman Desselle