The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) has begun rolling out a statewide campaign to educate Marylanders about the importance of contact tracing and how it is a vital tool in the fight against the spread of coronavirus.
For Marylanders who have had COVID-19, working with contact tracers has helped combat the disease by connecting friends, family members and acquaintances to local health departments. When an individual tests positive, case investigators reach out to that person by phone within 24 hours. Based on information collected about the COVID-19 positive individual’s symptoms and contact history, case investigators will call other people with whom the individual has had close contact and provide necessary guidance about monitoring symptoms and isolating at home.
When the phone rings, the caller ID will read “MD COVID.” Depending on whether the contact investigator is calling directly from the Maryland Department of Health partners a local health department, there will also be a list of phone numbers provided to verify the caller’s identity. Maryland’s contact tracing workforce is trained to ensure that all personal information is collected in accordance with regulations and guidelines to protect privacy and personal health information.
The contact tracer will ask about the individual’s health, any potential symptoms, and the duration of those symptoms. They may ask about an individual’s whereabouts and interactions for a specific period of time. A contact investigator will never ask for a Social Security number, financial or bank account information, or personal details unrelated to COVID-19. They will not ask for photographs or videos, passwords or any payment.
For more information on contact tracing in Maryland, visit https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/pages/contact-tracing. For more information about Howard County’s contact tracing, visit www.howardcountymd.gov/Departments/Health/MM-Alerts-and-Recalls