The Howard County Health Department has designated 35 staff as Contact Tracing Investigators to track the spread of COVID-19 and prevent community spread. The Health Department aims to nearly double that number by utilizing the Medical Reserve Corps, Howard County Public School System staff who have expressed interest and new hires.
Investigators gather vital information that helps identify individuals who may have recently had close contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus. Each contacted individual is provided specific education and guidance to monitor their health or even quarantine for a time, if needed. These actions prevent the virus from spreading in households and in the community.
If residents receive a call from the Health Department about their health status, they are encouraged to answer the phone and work with the contact tracing investigator to help stop the virus from spreading.
The Health Department takes privacy very seriously and does not share patient information or the health status with anyone, including with any individuals who may have been in contact with a COVID-19 positive individual. Any information that is shared with the Health Department including, addresses, phone numbers, and emails, is only used in the tracing process to share health resources and reduce the virus outbreak. It will not be shared with any other agencies, organizations or employers.
Not all COVID-19 positive individuals show symptoms or feel sick, so residents should not jump to conclusions about exposures. No one should be stigmatized for having COVID or being exposed to the virus.
Learn more about contact tracing and other COVID-19 resources from the Howard County Health Department at https://www.howardcountymd.gov/Departments/Health/MM-Alerts-and-Recalls