Community cooperation is essential to slowing the spread of COVID-19. Individuals who have been tested for COVID-19 should self-quarantine, and if they receive a positive COVID-19 result, should anticipate a call from a PCHHS-DPH contact tracer.
While waiting for a call from a Portage County Health and Human Services Division of Public Health (PCHHS-DPH) contact tracer, individuals should compile a list of close contacts (anyone who was within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more regardless of wearing a mask, beginning two days before testing or two days before symptoms started) who they should then notify. Your help is the key to stopping the spread of COVID-19 and protecting your loved ones. Answering the call from a contact tracer will help protect you, your family, and your community.
Contact tracers will reach out via phone call up to two times to conduct an interview. During this interview, contact tracers may ask:
• To verify your name, date of birth, and address.
• Your gender, race, and ethnicity.
• To discuss any symptoms you may have (or had), whether you were hospitalized, or any underlying health conditions that might put you at greater risk.
• Details about your living situation so you can be informed on how to safely self-isolate.
• To provide your employment or volunteer duties and dates last worked.
• For your email to share additional information with you.
All information shared is confidential. Contact tracers will remind you to isolate and keep track of your symptoms, including taking your temperature twice a day. Contact tracers will ask you to inform your close contacts of their exposure to COVID-19 and provide you with resources to share with your contacts.
• A contact tracer will never ask for your social security number.
• A contact tracer will never ask for confidential financial information, like your bank or credit card number.
• A contact tracer will never ask about your immigration status and ICE will not be notified about your location.
• The information you share will not be used for the purposes of law enforcement or immigration enforcement in any way.
• The information you share will not be used to deny access to health care or any other essential service.
• Your cell phone is never tracked, a GPS location is not followed, and geolocation data is not collected or used.
If you have any doubts about the legitimacy of your conversation with a contact tracer, you may hang up and contact PCHHS-DPH at 715-345-5350 option 8. You should also feel free to request the name and identification of anyone who calls.
Please pick up the phone when the health department calls and follow the recommendations provided to you.
The information provided may be lifesaving to you, a loved one, or a community member and is the best way to protect your family and loved ones from COVID-19.
Contact tracing works best with everyday preventive measures – keep social circles small, wear masks, practice good hand hygiene, and stay home if you experience symptoms of COVID-19.