CORONAVIRUS UTAH

Utah To Launch Contact Tracing Via Text Messages

Dec 10, 2020, 2:03 PM | Updated: 2:04 pm
FILE (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)...
FILE (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah– If you test positive for coronavirus, you and your contacts could get a text from the health department.

State epidemiologist Angel Dunn announced Thursday that Utah will start using automated text messages as a tool for contact tracing for people who test positive for COVID-19.

The texting system will begin Friday.

Dunn made the announcement at Thursday’s weekly COVID-19 briefing.

She said the text will be sent if people do not answer an initial phone call from contact tracers.

“The text will include a link to a secure form where the person who tested positive can provide information related to the case investigation and contact tracing electronically,” she said.

Dunn said the text will also include a phone number in case the person would prefer to speak to someone directly rather than fill out the online form.

“So the hope is that it’s speeding up the initial case investigation process,” she said. “In that secure form on the link that’s going to be in the text message is an opportunity for the person who tested positive to put in all the information for their close contacts – again, allowing public health contact tracers to reach out to the close contacts either by phone or by text.”

Dunn emphasized that the Utah Department of Health will never ask for personal information via text.

If you have any questions Dunn said you can call the Utah coronavirus hotline for additional information.

The phone number is 1-800-456-7707.

Coronavirus Resources

Have you or a family member been affected by coronavirus issues in Utah? KSL wants to hear from you. Contact KSL by emailing social@ksl.com.

What is COVID-19? Here’s What You Need To Know To Stay Healthy

The latest coronavirus stories from KSL can be found here.

Your Life Your Health: How parents can prepare their home, children against coronavirus.

How do I prevent it?

The CDC has some simple recommendations, most of which are the same for preventing other respiratory illnesses or the flu:

  • Avoid close contact with people who may be sick
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Always wash your hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
  • If soap and water is not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

 

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Utah To Launch Contact Tracing Via Text Messages