ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Gov. Larry Hogan is ramping up coronavirus contact tracing to help track positive cases across the state faster, which ultimately will make is safer for Maryland to reopen fully.
Hogan announced Monday that the state is launching a massive contact tracing operation to track at least 1,000 positive cases and make 10,000 contacts daily.READ MORE: People In Baltimore Protest In Solidarity, Mourning Daunte Wright's Death After He Was Fatally Shot By Police During Traffic Stop In Minnesota
“Contact tracing is the process of identifying people who may have come into contact with an individual with an infectious disease,” the state says on its COVID-19 website. “The process involves identifying infected people, determining who they have been in close contact with while infected and asking people who are potentially infected to stay home until it is clear they are not sick.”
Local health departments and NORC through the University of Chicago are helping the state collect the data.
We are launching a massive contact tracing operation across the State of Maryland, and thanks to the efforts of local health departments and @NORCNews, we are now able to track 1,000 cases and 10,000 contacts daily.
— Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) May 18, 2020
So what should you expect if a contact tracer reaches out to you:READ MORE: Pause In Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Could Delay Maryland's Goals As Baltimore City Emerges As Potential New Hotspot
What kinds of questions might I be asked by a contact tracer?
If you are called by a contact tracer, they will ask about your health, any potential symptoms you may have, and the duration of those symptoms. They may ask about your whereabouts for a specific period of time. If you had close contact with others during that time, they will ask for names and contact information for those individuals. The investigator will ask you to be as specific as possible about the nature and location of your interactions with others, as a way of understanding who might be potentially infected.
What kind of questions will a contact tracer never ask?
A contact investigator will never ask you for your social security number, financial or bank account information, or personal details unrelated to COVID-19. They will not ask for photographs or videos of any kind. They will not ask for your passwords.
What if I’m called, told to isolate and need assistance?
Call your local health department for help connecting with county resources that are available to you during your quarantine period.
How do I know that a call from a contact tracer is not a scam? Is there a way to verify who is calling?
With the prevalence of telephone scams and other fraud, we understand people’s reluctance to answer detailed questions to someone who calls to ask about their movements and contact with friends and loved ones. Maryland’s contact tracing efforts have several methods by which you can verify the identity of the caller.
When your phone rings, the caller ID will read “MD COVID” on your screen. Depending on whether your contact investigator is calling directly from NORC or your local health department, there will also be a list of phone numbers you will be given to verify the caller’s identity.Stimulus Check Update: Are You Eligible For A Plus-Up Payment?