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East Central Health of Georgia

East Central Health District

Georgia DPH Asks Residents to ‘Answer the Call’ in New Contact Tracing Video

NEWS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: CONTACT:
June 19, 2020 Nancy Nydam
(404) 657-2462
Georgia DPH Asks Residents to ‘Answer the Call’
in New Contact Tracing Video

Atlanta – The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is releasing a new video explaining
the state’s COVID-19 contact tracing efforts, asking residents to ‘answer the call’ if DPH
reaches out.

YouTube Video Link: How Contact Tracing Works in Georgia

This video is part of a larger campaign rolling out across the state promoting the Healthy
Georgia Collaborative, DPH’s expanded contact tracing program to combat the spread of
COVID-19. Contact tracing is an important public health tool used to monitor the spread of
infection and identify outbreaks of COVID-19 before they become widespread community
transmission.

Since May, the Healthy Georgia Collaborative has deployed about 1,300 contact tracers and
case investigators statewide to interview individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19,
and then alert, quarantine and test contacts who may have been exposed. To date, 16,590
cases have been interviewed and 40,082 contacts identified.

“For contact tracing to be successful, education is critical,” said DPH Commissioner Kathleen E.
Toomey, M.D., M.P.H. “We need residents to understand what contact tracing is, why it’s
important, and how they can participate in helping Georgia stop the spread of COVID-19.”
Beyond explaining the contact tracing process, DPH’s new video also urges residents to
“Answer the Call!” When contacts of COVID-19 cases are identified, the first and fastest way
that DPH can notify them of their exposure is by calling. “If you don’t pick up the phone,”
explains Dr. Toomey, “Then we can’t alert you and get you the support you need. This puts
yourself and others at risk of getting sick.”

To encourage participation and reduce scams, when DPH calls, the caller ID will say, “GA
COVID Team.” Contact tracers will provide resources and information on testing, symptom
monitoring, and protection for family members. Any information provided to DPH staff members
is kept confidential per HIPAA, which is the law that protects an individual’s personal health
information. Georgia’s contact tracing program does not use GPS or Bluetooth technology to
track the movements of residents.

Contact tracers will never ask for personal information like Social Security numbers, credit card information or citizenship status. If you suspect fraudulent activity or know of someone else who has experienced this, please contact the DPH COVID-19 hotline immediately to report: 1-844-442-2681. For more information about COVID-19 visit https://dph.georgia.gov/novelcoronavirus or https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html. For updates on COVID-19, follow @GaDPH, @GeorgiaEMA, and @GovKemp on Twitter, and @GaDPH, @GEMA.OHS, and @GovKemp on Facebook.