Contact Tracing and Monitoring in the Coastal Health District
Contact tracing is an important step in reducing the spread of a contagious illness like COVID-19. Effective contact tracing can save lives, and it’s one of the keys to eventually reopening our communities.
In contact tracing, public health staff work with a patient to help them recall everyone with whom they have had close contact while they may have been infectious.
If you are one of those close contacts of a confirmed case, public health staff may call to alert you of your risk of infection.
The Coastal Health District conducts contact tracing for every confirmed case of COVID-19 in our 8-county area. We notify close contacts about their possible exposure so they can understand how to monitor for symptoms, when to call a doctor or get tested, and how to properly self-quarantine so they don’t spread the virus to others.
If you are a contact to a confirmed case, the Coastal Health District may call and ask for the following type of information:
- Your email address
- Your home address
- Date of birth
It’s important for public health to have this information so we can follow up with you during your quarantine period to ask about your symptoms, answer questions, and share any additional guidance.
To protect the privacy of all patients, we cannot tell you the identity of the person who may have exposed you. We can only tell you that you may have been exposed.
There is no cost to patients or contacts for contacting tracing and monitoring, and we’ll never ask you for payment or financial information.
Online Contact Tracing Tool
The Department of Public Health (DPH) is utilizing an online monitoring tool developed by Google/MTX to make contact tracing more efficient.
The secure system utilizes text messaging and/or phone calls to allow identified contacts to easily answer questions about their health and their symptoms related to COVID-19. These contacts will receive a daily text message for 14 days, starting on their last date of potential exposure, reminding them to report if they have symptoms through the monitoring tool. They will also receive information about what to do if they are or become sick.
Individuals who do not report daily will be contacted by DPH. Additionally, for people who do not wish to receive texts, DPH will call them daily for symptom monitoring.
Confidentiality is critical to the success of contact tracing. Contact tracing in Georgia is confidential – the identity of the person who tests positive and the information on those who might have been exposed will not be shared with the public.
Georgia’s contact tracing does not use GPS or Bluetooth technology to track movements. The monitoring tool does not collect any data other than what is entered by the contact.